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Minister: Presidential candidate capable of restoring stability in FIFA to suit Russia

February 26, 14:50 UTC+3 MOSCOW
FIFA member associations convened in Zurich for its extraordinary Congress with the main aim of electing the organization’s new president and vote on the landmark reformations to the organization
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© EPA/PATRICK B. KRAEMER

MOSCOW, February 26. /TASS/. Russia hopes that FIFA presidential election on Friday will see the victory of the candidate, who will be able to return stability to the world’s governing body of football, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said in an interview with Rossiya-24 television channel.

FIFA member associations convened in Zurich on Friday for its extraordinary Congress with the main aim of electing the organization’s new president and vote on the landmark reformations to the organization.

"Russia will be fine with a candidate, who will bring back stability to the organization," Mutko, who is also a member of the FIFA Executive Committee and the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), said. "It is extremely important for Russia as a host country of the 2018 FIFA World Cup to know that this project is not only of the Russian Federation, but of the whole world football."

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.

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.

Currently suspended FIFA President Sepp Blatter, 79, was reelected for his fifth consecutive four-year presidential term on May 29, 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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