FIFA Announces Presidential Election for February 2016

Joseph Blatter
The Associated Press

The FIFA executive committee decided to hold the organization’s presidential election on February 26, 2016, when a new Congress convenes to decide on massive reforms.

An FBI investigation threw a wrench into soccer’s governing body back in May. Swiss police arrested several officials, including a vice president. These men allegedly took bribes up to $100 million. At first, it appeared President Sepp Blatter escaped accusations, but he resigned a day after he won a fifth term. ABC News claimed the FBI also investigates the long-term president.

“FIFA needs profound restructuring,” he said at the time. “Although members have given me the new mandate, this mandate does not seem to be supported by everyone. We will hold an extraordinary conference as soon as possible. A new president will be elected.”

Presidential candidates need to “submit applications four months before polling day.” One source told the BBC that the organization hopes these moves prove to the Department of Justice and the FBI that they are in step with demands for reform.

“This is a window of opportunity to get the executive committee to give up some power,” claimed the source. “Under certain scenarios the chance for reforms could close again.”

In February, FIFA’s Congress will discuss “enhanced centralized integrity checks for Executive Committee members, the introduction of term limits, higher standards of governance at all levels of football structures including confederations and member associations, as well as individual disclosure of compensation.” But a major change includes bidding regulations for World Cups. Corruption accusations started years ago when Russia won the 2018 World Cup and Qatar, a place that averages 110F in the summer, won the 2022 World Cup.

FIFA’s press release did not detail the new revisions.