(WFI) As the FIFA Reforms Commission holds its first meeting in Berne, a former Nigeria international is the latest to express interest in joining the race to replace Sepp Blatter at the helm of world football.
Segun Odegbami, who won the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations in his playing days, becomes the third African to declare interest in the FIFA presidency after Nigeria’s former state governor Orji Uzor Kalu and Liberia’s Musa Bility.
Odegbami is calling for a new era of leadership to restore FIFA’s tarnished credibility after a slew of corruption scandals. But he has never held a job in football administration and seems unlikely to secure the five nominations from football federations needed to become a candidate after the Oct. 26 FIFA deadline.
The election is slated for Feb. 26 in Zurich.
UEFA president Michel Platini is the favourite with South Korea’s former FIGFA vice president Chung Mong-Joon expected to provide the biggest challenge. Brazil legend Zico and former Trinidad and Tobago international David Nakhid have also said they will stand for the top job in world football. South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale, a member of FIFA’s anti-discrimination task force, is reportedly mulling a bid.
FIFA chief Blatter announced his resignation plan on June 2 just four days after being re-elected for a fifth term amid the biggest corruption scandal to hit world football’s governing body. Nine FIFA officials, including two vice presidents, were indicted by the US Department of Justice at the end of May on charges including bribery, racketeering, money laundering and wire fraud.
An investigation by Swiss authorities is running parallel to the ongoing probe into FIFA by US authorities, examining allegations of corruption in the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.
The prosecutors leading those investigations are set to hold a joint news conference in Zurich on Sept. 14. U.S. attorney general Loretta Lynch and Michael Lauber will update media on their respective probes, the Associated Press reports.
Francois Carrard’s FIFA Reforms Commission is meeting Wednesday and Thursday in Berne, Switzerland.
The former director general of the IOC, who last week said Blatter had been “unfairly treated” in the developing FIFA scandal, will draft proposals with the committee’s 12 members to present to the FIFA ExCo meeting Sept. 24-25 in Zurich.
The makeup of a five person ‘advisory board’, supposed to aid Carrard’s task force with reforms, could be announced on Thursday.
Overhauling the governance structure of the ExCo, term and age limits, and transparency around salaries for the FIFA president and top officials are expected to be among the main topics of discussions.
Carrard’s office could not be reached for comment by INSIDER.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
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