FIFA to set election date

ZURICH – FIFA’s leadership meets tomorrow to decide the date of a vote to replace president Sepp Blatter as a corruption storm inflicts ever worsening damage on world football.

The meeting takes place just two days after Jeffrey Webb, until May a FIFA vice-president, made his first appearance in a New York court to deny charges that he accepted millions of dollars in bribes for marketing deals.

Webb is one of 14 football officials and business executives facing charges in the United States. He was one of seven FIFA officials detained in a raid on a Zurich hotel ahead of the world body’s congress in May.

Two days later Blatter was re-elected to a fifth term but within four more days he announced he would organise a new election.

The 79-year-old Swiss, the most powerful figure in sport by many counts, is to announce a date for a new election after Monday’s executive committee meeting. The vote will be held in Zurich sometime between December this year and February 2016.

Following some ambiguous comments in media interviews, Blatter will be pressed to make clear that he is standing down. He did not use the word “resign” when he announced that a new election would be held.

FIFA also faces mounting pressure to quickly start reforms and Blatter is also expected to announce what measures could be proposed to the special election congress. Top sponsors, such as Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, have called for radical changes in the way the multi-billion dollar world body is run after many years of scandal.

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