FIFA confirms February presidential election will be by secret ballot
FIFA may have more transparency going forward, but one month out from a proceeding that will determine the future course of the organization, it has confirmed its election will be run as it has in the past: secretively.
In a letter written to its 209 member organizations, FIFA re-confirmed the five-man field running to take charge of the sport's governing body while also confirming that the election will be conducted by secret ballot. Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, Jerome Champagne, Gianni Infantino and Tokyo Sexwale will all vie for the presidency, currently occupied by interim leader Issa Hayatou. The Cameroonian took charge in an acting role with long-ruling president Sepp Blatter suspended.
The election will take place Feb. 26 in Zurich, and each nation's vote will count the same and be kept from the public:
Despite the nature of the vote, some nations have come out with their public support. A seven-nation bloc from Central America confirmed Monday that it will vote for Infantino, while UEFA's Executive Committee has put its unanimous support behind Infantino as well. That does not necessarily indicate that all of UEFA's 53 votes will go to the current UEFA general secretary, but it indicates the confederation's preference with two Europeans (Champagne the other) being in the race.
The USA has yet to publicly state who it will be supporting after putting its weight behind Prince Ali ahead of last May's election. Prince Ali finished with 73 votes, while Blatter accrued 133.