FIFA president nominations close with duo set for battle

Last Updated: Apr 02, 2011, 09:41 AM IST

Zurich: Nominations for the FIFA presidency closed at 2200 GMT on Friday with incumbent Sepp Blatter and challenger Mohamed Bin Hammam set to be the only two candidates at the June 1 election.

World soccer`s ruling body said in a statement it would announce the official candidates on Monday "following a thorough verification process".

A spokeswoman would not comment on the number of candidates FIFA had by Friday but U.S. journalist Grant Wahl told Reuters in an email he had not received a nomination after searching for one national association to back him.

The Sports Illustrated (SI) writer was attempting to launch his campaign in protest at FIFA`s inner workings after recent corruption scandals.

"If FIFA were truly a representative democracy I`m convinced that not only would I have been nominated but I also would have beaten Blatter and Bin Hammam in a landslide on election day," he said in his latest SI article.

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) chief Bin Hammam, 61, has stated it is time for change and has announced a manifesto centred on transparency.

The Qatari, sworn in unopposed for a third and final term as AFC president in January, is seeking to unseat 75-year-old Swiss Blatter after 13 years in charge and thereby become the ninth president of FIFA.

The June 1 vote will be held in Zurich as part of the 61st FIFA Congress.

Bureau Report