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UEFA announces final list of three candidates for presidential election

Aleksander Ceferin, Michael van Praag and Angel Maria Villar Llona have all complied with the eligibility requirements
Angel Maria Villar Llona EPA/SEBASTIEN NOGIER
Angel Maria Villar Llona

GENEVA, September 2. /TASS/. The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) announced on Friday its final approved list of three candidates running for the presidential post in Europe’s governing body of football.

"UEFA has been informed today by the FIFA Review Committee that all of the candidates running for election at the UEFA Congress on 14 September 2016 in Athens have successfully passed the eligibility checks conducted by FIFA," UEFA announced in its statement on Friday.

"Aleksander Ceferin, Michael van Praag and Angel Maria Villar Llona - who will be running for the position of UEFA President and would thus automatically become FIFA vice-president -… have all complied with the eligibility requirements," the statement added.

Europe’s governing body of football will be electing its new president on September 14 in Athens and all candidates wishing to run for the presidency had to submit their applications by July 20.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who is also the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), announced in June that the RFU would vote for the candidacy of Ceferin, the head of the Football Association of Slovenia.

Former French footballer Michel Platini, who is considered to be one of the greatest players of all time, had been at the helm of UEFA since 2007 until he was suspended earlier this year.

Last October, Platini and then-President of FIFA Sepp Blatter were both suspended for the period of 90 days from their posts as part of the investigation into corruption allegations against them. Among a number of corruption allegations, Blatter was suspected of a disloyal payment of 2 million Swiss francs to UEFA President Platini in February 2011.

The adjudicatory chamber of the independent FIFA Ethics Committee held hearings into corruption charges on December 17 and 18, in regard to Blatter and Platini respectively, and on December 21 they were both suspended for the period of eight years from all football-related activities.

The Ethics Committee also subjected both of the football executives to financial fines, obliging Blatter to pay 50,000 Swiss francs (over $50,300) and Platini - 80,000 Swiss francs (over $80,500).

On March 2, FIFA Appeal Committee ruled to reduce the suspension sentences for Platini and Blatter from eight to six years.

Following the FIFA Appeal Committee’s ruling both Platini submitted an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausanne. On May 9, CAS announced its verdict reducing the suspension term of Platini from six to four years and cutting the earlier imposed fine from 80,000 to 60,000 Swiss francs.

Following the verdict from the CAS, Platini announced his plans to resign from the post of the UEFA president.