Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
FIFA yesterday announced that four candidates for the role of FIFA President have passed its integrity checks. One of the four candidates, current President Joseph S. Blatter, has held the office since 1998 and has been re-elected three times (2002, 2007 and 2011). The other candidates are HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein (Jordan), former player Luís Figo (Portugal) and Dutch FA (KNVB) Chairman Michael van Praag.
Each candidate was assessed by the Investigatory Chamber of FIFA’s independent Ethics Committee, ‘in accordance with Article 8 par. 1(e) and article 15 par. 2 of the Electoral Regulations for the FIFA Presidency (“Electoral Regulations”). Annexe 1 of the FIFA Organisation Regulations outlines the provisions according to which such integrity checks are conducted.’ This means that FIFA agrees that all four candidates were nominated by a FIFA Member Association, has the support of at least five of them and has held an administrative role in football for at least two of the past five years.
FIFA also confirmed that its Ad-Hoc Electoral Committee has validated that each of the candidates meets the requirements stipulated in the FIFA Statutes and Regulations. Prior to that, Domenico Scala and Claudio Sulser withdrew from their positions on the Ad-Hoc Committee, as both are Swiss nationals, and wished to ‘avoid any appearance of a potential conflict of interest based on nationality’ (Blatter is Swiss).
Former FIFA deputy General Secretary Jérôme Champagne withdrew as a Presidential candidate on 31 January, as he was not put forward by a Member Association and had failed to attract support from five of them, as required by the Electoral Regulations, published in June last year (link above). The same Regulations also ensure absolute privacy of the Presidential voting process. ‘A secret ballot shall always be conducted, regardless of how many candidates there are’, reads Article 17, paragraph 1 of the Regulations. ‘The secrecy of the ballot shall be guaranteed by the provision of a procedure ensuring privacy for the voter’. The vote for FIFA President will take place on 29 May vote, and will be conducted via secret ballot at FIFA’s Congress.
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