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Russia’s sports minister: FIFA to spend rainy day funds amid financial difficulties

February 25, 17:58 UTC+3 ZURICH
According to Vitaly Mutko, the organization will have financial problems in the nearest future
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© EPA/WALTER BIERI

ZURICH, February 25. /TASS/. FIFA will be experiencing financial difficulties in the nearest future and will have to spend its rainy day funds, however the scale of the problems will not be disastrous, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who is also a member of the FIFA Executive Committee, told journalists on Thursday.

"FIFA will have financial problems in the nearest future," Mutko said. "The organization will have to spend its rainy day funds."

"We should proceed from the stance that a work had to be done on the sale of commercial rights," Mutko, who is also the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), said. "The situation is not disastrous. Chinese major businesses come to FIFA, [new] sponsors are joining."

"FIFA is very transparent as a legal entity and will be even more open after the reformations," Mutko added.

FIFA convenes in Switzerland’s Zurich on February 26 for its extraordinary Congress with the main aim of electing the organization’s new president. All six confederations making up the world’s governing body of football are holding separately sessions in Zurich on Thursday to work out their stance ahead of the FIFA presidential election.

The five currently running candidates for the post of the FIFA presidency are: South Africa’s ex-Minister of Housing Construction Tokyo Sexwale, UEFA Secretary General Gianni Infantino, FIFA Vice President and Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, former-FIFA Secretary General Jerome Champagne and President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.

The voting procedure to determine the new president is enshrined by FIFA regulations and is as follows: "For the election of the FIFA President, two-thirds of the votes of the FIFA members present and eligible to vote are necessary in the first ballot. In the second and any other requisite ballot, a simple majority (more than 50%) of the valid votes cast is sufficient."

"If there are more than two candidates for the office of FIFA President, whoever obtains the lowest number of votes is eliminated as from the second ballot until only two candidates are left… If there is only one candidate, a simple majority (more than 50%) of the he valid votes cast is sufficient in the first ballot."

A chain of corruption scandals rocked FIFA throughout last year. Everything flared up with an unprecedented scandal on the morning of May 27, 2015, one day before the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich, where seven of the organization’s high-ranking officials were arrested in Switzerland on bribery, money laundering and corruption charges.

In the most recent development of events, the previously suspended FIFA and UEFA presidents, Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini respectively, were both banned on December 21 for eight years by FIFA's Ethics Committee from all international football activities over allegedly illegal financial transfer from FIFA to Platini. The terms were reduced to six years on Wednesday after both football officials filed appeals.

Blatter, 79, was reelected for his fifth consecutive four-year presidential term on May 29, 2015, when his only rival Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan pulled out after the first round of vote.

However, addressing a news conference in Zurich on June 2, Blatter said he decided to lay down his mandate at FIFA extraordinary elective Congress. FIFA announced in July that the election of the new president would be held on February 26, 2016.

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