By RYAN TOLMICH
Sepp Blatter revealed back in May that he was “laying down his mandate” following the latest FIFA scandal, and now the organization has announced the date to determine his potential successor.
FIFA announced Monday that the organization will hold a presidential election on February 26, 2016. The reveal comes just one day after Blatter held a closed-door meeting with FIFA executives, his first since announcing his resignation just four days after being elected in May.
Among those in attendance was UEFA president Michel Platini, who is currently favored to replace Blatter due to his connections with Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, and FIFA executive member Sheikh Ahmad Al Sabah of Kuwait.
Meanwhile, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, Blatter’s presidential competition in this past election, has called for Blatter to step down immediately to allow an outside party to run FIFA until a successor is named in February.
“President Blatter’s resignation cannot be dragged out any longer. He must leave now,” Prince Ali said, before adding that Blatter “cannot be permitted to plan his succession and manage this election process.”
Here are some more news and notes to kick off your Monday morning:
BRITISH OFFICIALS TO PROBE FIFA IN BID FOR REFORM
FIFA is not yet out of the water when it comes to reform in the wake of the organization’s latest scandals.
British officials have launched an investigation into FIFA while questioning the English Football Association, the Serious Fraud Office and global sponsors as to why each party didn’t do more to stop corruption.
In particular, Coca-Cola, Visa and McDonald’s have been targeted for questioning by Jesse Norman, the new Culture, Media and Sport select committee chairman, as well as select committee member Damian Collins.
“More can be done,” the duo said. “Alongside the U.S. and Swiss prosecution, other national parliaments and government agencies also have a role to play in using their powers to support FIFA reform. Britain must play its part.
“We will be inviting the FA, the Serious Fraud Office and some of FIFA’s leading global sponsors to explain their actions — or inaction — to date, and to press for urgent reform to the governance of world football.”
RONALDINHO ARRIVES LATE TO FLUMINENSE UNVEILING
In typical Ronaldinho fashion, the Brazilian superstar was unveiled by his new club on Sunday.
Arriving 48 minutes late to his introductory press conference, Ronaldinho was unveiled Sunday by Fluminense ahead of the team’s rivalry clash Vasco da Gama at the Maracana. The 35-year-old was signed by the Brazilian club last week after departing Mexico’s Queretaro after just one season.
“I got emotional,” the midfielder said. “I come very motivated, happy with the expectation that I can make history with this great club, that’s the project, now I must to work hard to make history in this club.
“I just want to grab my shoes and play already. To come here and see this beautiful stadium, fans showing me so much love, my legs are already shaking with a desire to play. I want to get there and be really prepared.”
In particular, the Brazilian legend says he is particularly looking forward to working with the country’s youth, stating his desire to help push youngsters at the club to the next level.
“It’s very important to blend experience with young players,” Ronaldinho said. “I hope to win titles and help these kids to run and win together. It’s a club with a lot of tradition and that wants to fight for titles, has the title that I lack and that I want to win together with these kids.”
Pele is recovering well after reportedly undergoing back surgery. (REPORT)
Raheem Sterling denies calling in sick with Liverpool just days ahead of his move to Manchester City. (REPORT)
Aston Villa are in talks to sign Tottenham forward Emmanuel Adebayor. (REPORT)
Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas will take the No.1 jersey at Real Madrid following the departure of Iker Casillas. (REPORT)
Theo Walcott expects to extend his deal with Arsenal in the coming days. (REPORT)
What do you expect from February’s FIFA elections? What reforms would you like to see in the coming years? How will Ronaldinho fare with Fluminese?
Share your thoughts below.