Who's next? 8 people who are likely to take over from Sepp Blatter

Check out list of 8 people who are likely to take over from Sepp Blatter below.

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Michel Platini play

Michel Platini

(AP)
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When the news broke that, Sepp Blatter has stepped down as FIFA president after being re-elected 4 days of being re-elected  to a fifth term, many have asked who is going to succeed him.

The Guardian Newspaper has compiled a list of 8 likely people who would succeed Sepp Blatter. Check out the list below.

 

1. Jérôme Valcke

The current Fifa general secretary, and Blatter’s longtime fixer, would have been among the favourites to replace him before the events of the last week. The Frenchman, who started working for Fifa in 2003, was released by the organisation from his role as marketing director in 2006 after being found guilty of lying to MasterCard and Visa but returned 10 months later, this time as general secretary. On Tuesday, before Blatter resigned, he was under pressure to explain a letter, proving that he was aware of a $10m payment from South African officials to Jack Warner, described by US investigators as a bribe. Valcke has yet to comment on the letter while Fifa said neither Valcke nor the president himself “were involved in the initiation, approval and implementation of the above project”.

 

2. Michel Platini

“He will be good president,” said Blatter of the current head of Uefa three years ago and, for Platini, the time may have arrived for him to step up to the most powerful position in world football. But the pair, one time close allies, have become estranged. Platini declined to stand against his one-time mentor but backed Prince Ali to dethrone him. “It was a difficult decision, a brave decision, and the right decision,” Platini said last night of Blatter’s decision to stand down. But Platini’s credentials have been called into question over enthusiastic backing for Qatar’s World Cup bid. As president of Uefa, where he was recently re-elected for another four-year term, the 59-year-old was the driving force in introducing the disputed financial fair play regulations and expanding the European Championships to 24 teams. Uefa’s executive committee will meet in Berlin this weekend to plot their next move.

 

3. Prince Ali bin al-Hussein

The President of the Jordan Football Association and a Fifa vice-president, the 39-year-old was defeated by Blatter in last week’s presidential elections. “It is time to shift the focus away from administrative controversy and back to sport,” Ali had said in the build-up to the elections, adding: “The world’s game deserves a world-class governing body, an international federation that is a service organisation and a model of ethics, transparency and good governance.”

 

In the end he received 73 votes from the 209 members in the first round, enough to force a second round, but conceded defeat to Blatter. Ali was among those who called for the publication of the Garcia report into allegations of corruption surrounding Russia’s and Qatar’s bids for the 2018 and 2022 Fifa World Cups. Last night he hinted he would run again, saying: “I’m always there to serve football. We have to do so much work to fix this organisation. I am at the disposal of our national associations.”

 

4. Luis Figo

The former Portuguese international was in the running to challenge Blatter for the presidency but pulled out eight days before the elections to unify support for Prince Ali. He unveiled his Fifa election manifesto at Wembley in February but was never more than an outsider. “Football runs through my veins, I am a man of football,” he said that day at Wembley and suggested a potential expansion of the World Cup to 40 or 48 teams from its current format of 32. When he pulled out of the race to succeed Blatter, he pulled no punches, saying: “This process is a plebiscite for the delivery of absolute power to one man – something I refuse to go along with” and likened Blatter’s tenure to a “dictatorship”.

 

5. Michael van Praag

The Dutchman, like Figo, withdrew his candidacy for the presidency in the run-up to the elections in an effort to get Prince Ali elected. The 66-year-old Uefa ExCo member said when he launched his campaign back in January that he was “very worried about the deteriorating situation at Fifa, the public opinion, the trustworthiness is very bad and with me a lot of people in the world believe so”. It is not yet known whether he will be prepared to stand again.

 

6. Issa Hayatou

The president of the African Football Confederation since 1988, he has been a staunch ally of Blatter throughout the years. In 2011 he was reprimanded by the International Olympic Committee over his part in an alleged bribery scandal. Hayatou was named on a list of recipients of $100m in kickbacks made by the now defunct sports marketing company ISL between 1989 and 1999. He denies any wrong-doing. In 2002 he ran – and lost – against Blatter in the presidential elections with European backing, receiving 56 votes to Blatter’s 139. The 68-year-old Cameroonian will obviously have the support of a huge number of Africa’s member associations and could carry the support of Blatter loyalists.

 

7. Jérôme Champagne

Another Frenchman who withdrew his candidacy for the Fifa presidency prior to the recently held elections. The former Fifa deputy general had secured nominations from three federations but claimed he had to back away from taking on Blatter because others felt unable for “numerous” reasons to support his bid, too. In a letter released at the start of February Champagne wrote: “They feared reprisals from their confederations having issued ‘recommendations’. The institutions have mobilised to eliminate the only independent candidate.” With Blatter out of the picture, the 56-year-old former diplomat may feel emboldened enough to put himself forward for the presidency again. A former close ally, he has spoken out in favour of the embattled incumbent in recent days.

 

8. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah

The Kuwaiti, already a key power broker in the world of IOC politics who helped Thomas Bach to the presidency, suddenly finds himself in a position of influence at Fifa. Levered into place by Blatter to shore up his support in Asia in the face of the challenge from Prince Ali, he has been tipped as a possible Fifa president by those who will want things to remain much as they are. “He’s done a great job for football,” Sheikh Ahmad said of Blatter on the eve of the election. “Nobody can be perfect, 100%. I think he is brave.”

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