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Bahrain's Sheikh Salman to stand for FIFA presidency

Bahrain's Sheikh Salman has formally entered the race to become head of football's world governing body FIFA. He faces candidates from Jordan, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago among others.

The president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain, has formally entered the race to become the next president of FIFA, soccer's world governing body.

Reuters News Agency cited a Bahrain News Agency report that Sheikh Salman had submitted paperwork to FIFA headquarters on Sunday, a day ahead of the deadline for candidates from football associations.

Sheikh Salman had initially backed Michel Platini, the head of Europe's governing body UEFA. But Platini has been suspended for 90 days by FIFA's Ethics Committee in relation to an investigation into a 2011 payment of two million Swiss francs ($2.04 million) from FIFA for work done at least nine years earlier. This has cast doubt over Platini's candidacy for the FIFA top job.

Sheikh Salman is linked to Kuwait's Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah, a politician and key figure in the Olympic movement.

He has faced accusations of human rights abuses, which he denies.

Sheikh Salman is to face Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein in the February 26 vote. The Jordanian has already submitted his nomination.

Other candidates include South African former political prisoner Tokyo Sexwale, former Trinidad and Tobago midfielder David Kakhid and former FIFA deputy general secretary Jerome Champagne.

The US Department of Justice indicted 14 officials and sports marketing executives in a corruption investigation on May 27.

Swiss authorities are currently investigating FIFA.

jm/gsw (Reuters)

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