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Sunday 4 December 2016

Election for Sepp Blatter's successor as FIFA President likely to be held in December

Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter

A decision on the date for the election of Sepp Blatter's successor as FIFA president will be taken next month with December 16 looking a likely option.

FIFA said an extraordinary meeting of its executive committee will take place in July where the decision on the date of a Congress to hold the presidential election will be taken.

Blatter announced he would resign last Tuesday - four days after he was re-elected for a fifth term - following corruption charges against FIFA officials that caused the biggest crisis in the world governing body's history.

A FIFA spokesperson said: "It requires an extraordinary executive committee to confirm a date and agenda for the extraordinary elective Congress. This extraordinary executive committee will convene in July, the precise date to be confirmed this week. There are currently various date options for discussion at this extraordinary executive committee meeting."

Blatter, 79, confirmed his departure at a hastily-arranged press conference in Zurich and said he would stay as president until the election which is due to be held between December and March, and it is understood mid-December is viewed as a likely option.

Despite the crisis, FIFA is pushing ahead with preparations for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the organisation's secretary general Jerome Valcke attended a meeting of the organisers in the city of Samara in the Volga region on Wednesday.

Valcke, who has found himself at the heart of allegations that South Africa paid a 10million US dollar (£6.5million) bribe to Jack Warner via FIFA's executive office, said after the meeting: "Overall the preparations for the FIFA Confederations Cup and the FIFA World Cup as well as our first major event, the preliminary draw, are well under way and on schedule."

Russia 2018 local organising committee chairman Vitaly Mutko said: "Here, in Samara, we made certain again that Russia is ready to present the wonderful gift to the rest of the World - 2018 FIFA World Cup.

"So as St. Petersburg, one of the beautiful cities of Russia, is ready to host the first official event of 2018 FIFA World Cup, the Preliminary Draw.

"We as a host country continue to fulfil our obligations to prepare all the events and projects of 2018 FIFA World Cup in time, we are well on track and on schedule.

"There's no doubt all the events of 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia will go through at top level."

Valcke told a news conference in Samara that details on the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup, which was due to be announced this week, had been postponed.

He also defended FIFA's handling of the 10million US dollar payment to a Caribbean Football Union account controlled by Warner, the former FIFA vice-president whose deputy Chuck Blazer has pleaded guilty in court of taking some of the money as a bribe to vote for South Africa to host the 2010 World Cup.

The payment followed a 2008 letter from the South African Football Association (SAFA) to Valcke asking for the money to be deducted for the World Cup budget and sent as a legacy programme to be administered by Warner.

Valcke told the news conference: "It was not FIFA's money.. it was a request from official South African authorities and SAFA. As long as it is in line with rules we do it.

"I don't understand what's the problem and why I am such a target in this question.

"You [the media] have decided that after Blatter I am the head to be cut, fine, but don't say it is because of this 10million dollars."

Press Association Sport revealed on Tuesday that the 10million dollars never appeared in the financial statements of either the CFU or the CONCACAF federation.

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