FIFA keeps Feb. 26 election date; Platini status uncertain

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Baku, October 20, AZERTAC

FIFA decided Tuesday to stick with its presidential election date in February, as uncertainty surrounded Michel Platini's candidacy and Asia's top soccer official edged closer to entering the race, according to abcnews .

With no clear timetable for Platini to challenge his provisional suspension, officials who have supported the UEFA leader's presidential campaign — such as Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa — must now decide whether to also apply by Monday's deadline.

Tuesday's FIFA executive committee meeting was the first since FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Platini were provisionally suspended two weeks ago.

Blatter had already announced plans to resign before being banned for 90 days amid a FIFA ethics investigation over a 2011 payment of $2 million to Platini.

The executive committee confirmed Tuesday that FIFA will go ahead with the election on Feb. 26. The decision came after an update from election monitor Domenico Scala, whose committee rules on the candidates' eligibility.

Platini submitted his candidacy ahead of the Oct. 26 deadline but faces being kept out over a payment of 2 million Swiss francs (about $2 million) from FIFA for work he says was carried out at least nine years earlier.

Platini has challenged his suspension and is awaiting the verdict of the FIFA appeals committee. UEFA is pushing for a swift decision in appeals at FIFA and possibly the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The executive committee was chaired in Blatter's absence by FIFA's senior vice president Issa Hayatou, the longtime African soccer leader who is now interim president.

Blatter is also challenging his provisional ban pending a full investigation by the FIFA ethics committee.

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