Tokyo Sexwale Approved By FIFA For Presidential Race

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli

South African businessman and former politician Tokyo Sexwale has been approved to run in the February FIFA presidential elections alongside four other candidates, while a decision on Michel Platini’s candidacy is pending.

Sexwale met the FIFA qualifications following a series of integrity tests were, while the other four candidates who will be vying to replace Sepp Blatter at the world football governing body include Prince Ali Al Hussein, Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, Jerome Champagne and Gianni Infantino.

The former government minister previously served on FIFA’s anti-discrimination task force and was a founding member of the Makana FA, which was the unofficial football organisation for apartheid-era prisoners on Robben Island, where he spent 13 years as a prisoner alongside good friend Nelson Mandela.

The suspended head of UEFA, Platini, was the favourite to succeed Blatter, before he received a suspension due to an investigation involving a $2 million payment that was made to him by Blatter for consulting services.

His ability to stand in the elections will be considered once his 90-day suspension by FIFA’s ethics committee is over.

Liberian football association president Musa Bility is the only provisionally approved candidate who was disqualified, due to issues with his integrity check.

“The Ad-hoc Electoral Committee did not admit the candidature of Musa Hassan Bility, in view of the content of the integrity check report relating to him,” a FIFA statement on the matter revealed.

The statement did not give further details regarding his disqualification, saying that they had spoken to Bility personally and would not release further info publicly.

“The committee will continue to supervise the electoral process to ensure that each candidate complies with all applicable FIFA regulations and provisions leading up to and during the Extraordinary FIFA Congress in February,” the statement added.

Regarding Platini’s potential re-entry into the race at the last minute, his UEFA colleague Infantino says that he will step down if the former Juventus star qualifies to run for the FIFA presidency.

The election will take place at the Extraordinary FIFA Congress in Zurich on 26 February 2016.