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FIFA 2016 presidential race: timeline and resources


Part of Sportingintelligence’s guide to the 2016 FIFA presidential election: HOME PAGE here


This page contains a regularly updated interactive timeline of events (top, most recent major event in the election first); a list of recommended people to follow for updates; a list of links to key ‘players’ (including institutions, sponsors, unions and reform groups); a bibliography; and a comprehensive chronological collection of documents and media reports covering issues related to FIFA politics and by extension the forthcoming election.



26 February 2016 Gianni Infantino becomes FIFA president, winning 115 votes in a second round of voting. His home village is Brig, along the road from Visp, home to Sepp Blatter.

25-26 February 2016 Congress and voting for new president. Updated from Zurich here.

11 February 2016 Four of the candidates pitch to CONCACAF for votes.

10 February 2016 Sheikh Salman says he’d prefer an election with just one candidate, to ensure there are no losers. He really said this.

27 January 2016 Brussels forum descends into farce as all but on candidate withdraw.

21 January 2016 Confirmation that the Brussels forum on the future of FIFA co-convened by the European Parliament and #NewFIFANow is to be broadcast live on ESPN around the world.

19 January 2016 Gianni Infantino launches his manifesto and website, which includes the revelation that UEFA is backing his presidential campaign to the tune of 500,000 EUROS. Obviously he needs to fly around the world first class to prepare himself for the five-star lifestyle of a FIFA president, should he win.

5 January 2016 Prince Ali launches his manifesto, saying it will be a ‘catastrophe’ for FIFA if he doesn’t win

29 December Sportingintelligence reveals that ESPN have invited all presidential candidates to a January televised debate in London. ESPN then confirm the development themselves.

27 December Prince Ali calls for the publication of the Garcia report, during a round of media activity in which he sought Chinese support for his candidacy and backed a future World Cup in China.

21 December Michel Platini, along with Sepp Blatter, banned from all football activity for eight years. The BBC reveal that Tokyo Sexwale has appeared before a US grand jury in New York as part of an on-going investigation into World Cup bribes.

14 December 2015 The CAS rules against Nakhid. For a lengthy, detailed and important backgrounder on his case, see this by Lasana Liburd.

11 December 2015 The CAS rules that Platini stays suspended for the time being, meaning in effect his fate will rest with FIFA’s ethics committee decision later in December.

10 December 2015 David Nakhid is preparing for a CAS hearing on his eligibility. Candidate interview here.

9 December 2015 Musa Bility appeals to CAS over his rejection as a candidate. The reasons for the rejection were revealed here. Prince Ali says Africa can have a crucial role in the outcome of the election.

3 December 2015 A new wave of arrests and indictments begin, emanating from the DoJ case and focusing on Zurich, where the ExCo is meeting about FIFA reforms. The heads of Concacaf and Conmebol are among those arrested. There was also a FIFA ExCo meeting to discuss proposed reforms and FIFA released the briefing linked here.

29 November 2015 Another potential headache for Sepp Blatter (and perhaps FIFA as a body) as a former contractor launches a legal action over an unpaid bill and allegedly inappropriate behaviour by Blatter.

27 November 2015 The CONMEBOL federation announces their intention to give their 10 votes to Gianni Infantino. The AFC Asian confederation executive give their backing to Sheikh Salman although he cannot rely on all their 46 votes.

21 November 2015 FIFA’s ethics committee says investigations into Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini are concluded, and recommendations seeking sanctions for the pair have been submitted.

20 November 2015 Michel Platini files an ‘urgent’ appeal to CAS over his ban.

18 November 2015 Tokyo Sexwale launched his election manifesto (get a PDF via his page on this site here), with the headline item being that national teams should be allowed to have commercial shirt sponsors to raise money. On the same day, Prince Ali told reporters in London that he was confident he could win the election given that there is a stipulation in place that supposedly outlaws bloc voting.

16 November 2015 David Nakhid appeals to CAS over ban from presidential election race.

15 November 2015 Report that Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini face multi-year bans before Christmas.

12 November 2015 FIFA’s ad-hoc electoral committee admits five candidates for the FIFA presidential election, ruling out Musa Bility of Liberia for undisclosed reasons while not mentioning Michel Platini.

11 November 2015 Reports that Sepp Blatter is in hospital after a ‘small breakdown’ and suffering from stress.

10 November 2015 Gianni Infantino confirms he will withdraw from the race should Michel Platini be able to run; and that he wants 40 teams at the World Cup in future, among other things.

1 November 2015 Former ExCo member Franz Beckenbauer is accused of being central to payments related to votes that won Germany the right to stage the 2006 World Cup. More revelations followed.

25 October 2015 A former FIFA staffer alleged he had been ordered to falsify ExCo minutes over a number of year.

16 October 2015 An in-depth investigation by Spiegel in Germany lifts the lid on the conspiracy and slush funds used to buy votes for Germany to host the 2006 World Cup.

8 October 2015 FIFA’s ethics committee takes out multiple big beasts in one swoop, suspending Blatter and Platini for 90 days, bans South Korea’s Chung Mong-Joon (a presidential candidate), for six years; and bans FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke for 90 days. It rapidly becomes clear that Blatter and Platini are in significant trouble.

3 October 2015 Major FIFA sponsors Coca-Cola, Visa, McDonald’s and Anheuser-Busch InBev call for Blatter to step down immediately. He says he won’t and will stay on until the 2016 election. Adidas are conspicuous by not calling for Blatter to go.

25 September 2015 The Swiss Attorney General’s Office opens criminal proceedings against Sepp Blatter on suspicion he misappropriated funds and violated his duties by making a “disloyal payment” to Michel Platini. On the same day it is ‘confirmed’ that the 2022 Qatar World Cup will last 28 days with the final scheduled for 18 December 2022.

17 September 2015 FIFA suspends secretary general Jerome Valcke over claims that he agreed to provide thousands of World Cup tickets for sale on the secondary markets at inflated prices. It was alleged that a suitcase with £160,000 in cash was prepared for Valcke to collect as part of his share of the profits, although he did not pick it up. The allegations arose from long-time FIFA business partner Benny Alon, who in a separate extraordinary affidavit (download as a PDF here) alleged that a senior Japanese executive sought a 2 million euro backhander for Sepp Blatter. Blatter denied any knowledge of this and the money was purportedly never paid to him, but the affidavit shone a light on the murky world of World Cup ticketing.

20 July 2015 FIFA announce the presidential election will be held in February 2016, and that they ‘fully support’ the road map for reform.

17 June 2015 The Swiss authorities say they are investigating 53 cases of possible money laundering at FIFA; and on the same day the chances of Michael Garcia’s report into the awarding of the Russia and Qatar World Cups suffers a new delay.

29 May 2015 Sepp Blatter is re-elected for a fifth term as FIFA president, beating Prince Ali bin Al Hussein by 133 votes to 77 in the second round of voting.

27 May 2015 Police raid a Zurich hotel on eve of FIFA congress and arrest seven officials, including two FIFA vice-presidents. They are among 14 wanted by US prosecutors over $150 million bribery allegations, including claims of buying and selling votes for South Africa to get the 2010 World Cup.


People to follow (more to come)

Journalists / Reporters / Writers

Andreas Selliaas: Oslo-based blogger @aselliaas

Andrew Jennings: Veteran FIFA investigator, writer, broadcaster @aandrewjennings

Benjamin Best: Journalist for ARD, CNN; film-maker, writer @bpbest

Benjamin Hofmann: German journalist @benni_hofmann

Bonita Mersiades: Reform activist @bonitamersiades 

Dan Roan: BBC sports editor @danroan

Dave Phillips: Football industry insider / observer @lovefutebol

David Conn: Guardian writer and author @david_conn

Florian Bauer: Special sport political Journalist, ARD German TV @FloBauerAuthor

Grit Hartmann: Investigative journalist and author @grit_hartmann

James Corbett: Journalist, author, veteran FIFA watcher @james_corbett

Jamil Chade: O correspondente do jornal O Estado de S. Paulo na Europa @jamilchade

Jean-Francois Tanda: Swiss-based reporter @jftanda

Jens Weinreich: German investigative reporter @jensweinreich

Jonathan Calvert: Sunday Times Insight Team editor @JCalvertST

Lasana Liburd: Trinidad investigative reporter, long-time chronicler of Jack Warner @lasanaliburd

Manuel Manero: Madrid-based sports writer @m_manero

Markus Harm: Journalist at ZDF sport @markusharm

Martyn Ziegler: Chief sports reporter, Press Association @martynziegler

Matthew Hall: writer and producer @matthew_hall

Nick Harris: Editor of this website, journalist (Twitter handle of website too) @sportingintel

Oliver Fritsch: Berlin-based sports editor @olifritsch

Osasu Obayiuwana: Associate Editor, NewAfrican magazine. Member of FIFA’s anti-racism task force @osasuo

Owen Gibson: Guardian chief sports correspondent @owen_g

Paul Kelso: Sky News sports correspondent @pkelso

Philippe Auclair: Writer and broadcaster, France Football correspondent @philippeauclair

Richard Conway: BBC sports news correspondent @richard_conway

Rob Harris: Associated Press reporter @RobHarris

Robert Kempe: Berlin-based journalist @robertkempe

Roger Pielke: Full biography at foot of this page @rogerpielkejr

Tariq Panja: Bloomberg journalist, Rio-based @tariqpanja

Torgeir Krokjford: Dagbladet report @tpk360

World Football Insider: Global football news @worldfbinsider and reporter Mark Bisson @MBisson_ATR


FIFA @FIFAcom, @FIFAmedia, @FIFAWorldCup

FIFPro @fifpro

ITUC @ituc

#NewFIFANow @newfifanow

Playfair Qatar @playfairqatar

Play The Game @playthegame_org

TRACE International @TRACE_Inc

Transparency International @transparency


Alexandra Wrage @alexandra wrage

Damian Collins MP @damiancollins

Jaimie Fuller @jaimiefuller

Jens Sejer Andersen @JensSejerA

Luis Figo @luisfigo

Michael van Praag @michaelvanpraag

Sharan Burrow @sharanburrow

Mohamed Bin Hammam @Bin_Hammam


Football associations

For a list of twitter and email accounts, click here for a searchable database of FIFA’s 209 member associations


Blogs to follow/read

See our curated selection of blogs and sites in one convenient place. You can search by individual publisher or by latest item.


Key ‘players’


Asian Football Confederation –




Oceania Football Confederation –


FIFPro –

Football Supporters Europe –

Football Supporters Federation UK –


#NewFIFANow –

Transparency International –

adidas –

Budweiser –

Coca-Cola –

Gazprom –

Hyundai –

Kia –

McDonalds –


Further information on sponsors can also be found here:


Further reading

A selection only…


European Parliament: Resolution of 9 June 2015 concerning FIFA (website)

House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee: Inquiry into Future of FIFA (website)


Alan Tomlinson: The Men, the Myths & the Money (2014)

Andrew Jennings: FOUL! (2006)

Andrew Jennings: The Dirty Game (2014, updated 2015)

Christiano Romano: FIFA’s Corruption Scandals (2015)

Heidi Blake & Jonathan Calvert: The Ugly Game (2015)

Jamil Chade: Politics, Bribes & Football (Portuguese) (2015)

John Sugden & Alan Tomlinson: FIFA and the Contest for World Football (1998)

John Sugden & Alan Tomlinson: Great Balls of Fire (1999)

Mark Pieth: Reforming FIFA (2014)

Ole Andersen: The Game is Over (2015)

Ole Andersen: The Man with the Golden Balls (2014)

Thomas Kistner: FIFA Mafia (German, Polish & Spanish) (2015)


Recommended media coverage in reverse order of publication

November 12, 2015

The Guardian: It’s not just Russia, Britain helped create this corruption in sport (website)

TRACE International: FIFA’s Compliance Failures (video)

October 31, 2015

Play the Game:  Presentations from 2015 Play the Game conference (website)

July 2015

Bloomberg:  A League of His Own (website)

July 21, 2015

Bonita Mersiades: Fixing FIFA isn’t just a ‘Sepp Blatter issue’ (website)

June 9, 2015

Telegraph: Bungs, Babes & Rocket-Propelled Grenades (website)

June 6, 2015

The Economist: The World’s Lawyer (website)

June 3, 2015

Washington Post: Profile of Andrew Jennings’ work (website)

Grantland: Going, Going, Gone – Sepp Blatter’s resignation (website)

June 1, 2015

John Oliver: Last Week Tonight (video)

May 2015

New York Times: How the indicted officials fit together (website)

May 27, 2015

FiveThirtyEight: How FIFA’s structure lends itself to corruption (website)

May 22, 2015

Senators McCain and Menendez (US): Letter to FIFA re Russia 2018 (PDF)

May 18, 2015

#NewFIFANow/SKINS/ITUC/Playfair Qatar: Hypocrisy World Cup (video)

March 31, 2015

US Senators (various): Letter to FIFA re Russia 2018 (PDF)

January 2015

#NewFIFANow: Charter and Guiding Principles for FIFA Reform (PDF) (updated July 2015)

December 17, 2014

Michael J. Garcia: Resignation statement (PDF)

April 22, 2014

FIFA Independent Governance Committee: Final Report (PDF)


Basel Institute of Governance: various documents (website)

March 20, 2012

FIFA Independent Governance Committee: First Report (PDF)

December 6, 2011

Bonita Mersiades: Focussed on the Main Game, presentation to Governance Institute of Australia (PDF)

September 9, 2011

Professor Mark Pieth: Governing FIFA, Concept Paper (PDF)

May 6, 2011

The Sunday Times: Letter to House of Commons Committee (PDF)



July 31, 2015

Jeffrey Webb: Order Setting Conditions of Release (PDF)

Alejandro Burzaco: Order Setting Conditions of Release (PDF)

July 27, 2015

DOJ Letter re Victim Information Web Site (PDF)

July 22, 2015

Jeffrey Webb: Order re Bond (PDF)

June 30, 2015

Alejandro Burzaco: Letter from Manuel Garrido & Court Response (PDF) 

June 12, 2015

Charles Blazer: Full Order Unsealing Plea Agreement (PDF)

June 11, 2015

Charles Blazer: Order re Unsealing Plea Agreement (PDF)

June 5, 2015

Charles Blazer: Letter Brief re Unsealing Plea Agreement (PDF)

Aaron Davidson: Letter re Compliance with Release Bond (PDF)

June 4, 2015

Charles Blazer: Letter and OSC re Unsealing Plea Agreement (PDF)

Daryll Warner: Letter and Denial Order re Unsealing Plea Agreement (PDF)

Daryan Warner: Notice re Transcript (PDF)

June 2, 2015

Sepp Blatter: Statement laying down his mandate (PDF)

May 29, 2015

Aaron Davidson: Arraignment Minutes, Release Bond & Speedy Trial Act Order (PDFs)

José Hawilla & Traffic Sports: Order Keeping Plea Sealed (PDF)

Charles Blazer: Order Partially Unsealing Plea (PDF)

FIFA:  2015 FIFA Statutes (PDF)

May 28, 2015

José Hawilla & Traffic Sports: Letter re Unsealing Plea Transcript (PDF)

Charles Blazer: Letter re Unsealing Plea Transcript (PDF)

May 27, 2015

US Department of Justice Press Release re FIFA Indictments (PDF)

May 14, 2015

Traffic Sports: Minutes of Plea Hearing (PDF)

December 12, 2014

José Hawilla: Order of Forfeiture (PDF)

José Hawilla: Minutes of Plea Hearing (PDF)

Information filed in United States v. José Hawilla, Traffic Sports USA, Inc. and Traffic Sports International, Inc., EDNY Case No. 1:14-CR-609 (PDF)

November 13, 2014

Judge Hans-Joachim Eckert: Finding in relation to the investigation into the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding contest (summary report) (PDF)

Media statement in relation to summary report (PDF)

November 25, 2013

Charles Blazer: Cooperation Agreement (PDF)

Charles Blazer: Plea Transcript [redacted] (PDF)

Charles Blazer: Order of Forfeiture (PDF)

Charles Blazer: Minutes of Plea Hearing (PDF)

Information filed in United States v. Charles Blazer, EDNY Case No. 1:13-CR-602 (PDF)

June 21, 2013

Traffic Group: Order Dismissing Case vs. CONMEBOL & Full Play Group (PDF)

April 29, 2013

Judge Hans-Joachim Eckert: Finding in relation to the ISL case (PDF)

April 18, 2013

CONCACAF:  Report of the Independent Committee of Inquiry (PDF)

November 20, 2012

Information filed in United States v. Daryll Warner, EDNY Case No. 1:13-CR-402 (PDF)

Information filed in United States v. Daryan Warner, EDNY Case No. 1:13-CR-584 (PDF)

July 19, 2012

CAS: Finding in relation to Mohamed Bin Hammam (PDF)

June 23, 2012

Traffic Group: Motion to Dismiss Second Amended Compaint in CONMEBOL Case (PDF)

June 2, 2012

Traffic Group: Second Amended Compaint in CONMEBOL Case (PDF)

February 13, 2012

Traffic Group: Valcke Letter re FIFA Jurisdiction in CONMEBOL Case (PDF)

November 21, 2011

Traffic Group: Motion for Preliminary Injunction in CONMEBOL Case (PDF)


Contributor biographies

James Corbett is a sports correspondent and award-winning author who has reported for outlets including the BBC, the Observer, the Guardian, the Sunday Times and FourFourTwo. His books include the Everton Encyclopedia and his collaboration with Neville Southall, The Binman Chronicles. He has reported on the race to host the 2018/2022 World Cups, its aftermath and FIFA’s implosion since 2009.  He is currently working on a book about football governance. Twitter: @james_corbett

Steve Menary is a freelance journalist, author and lecturer. The author of five books on sport, including the critically acclaimed ‘Outcasts! The lands that FIFA forgot,’ he has reported on football from places as diverse as Armenia, Andorra and Barbados to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Liechtenstein for World Soccer magazine and the BBC World Service. Menary has also been a regular Sportingintelligence contributor on FIFA, governance issues and with other investigative work.

Bonita Mersiades has worked at senior executive levels within the federal government and the not-for-profit sector in Australia, giving her an insight into both FIFA and football at all levels in Australia. As well as growing up in the game, and being involved at the grassroots level as a volunteer, Mersiades has worked for a former national soccer league club, for a state federation, for the national men’s team the ‘Socceroos’ and as head of corporate and public affairs with Football Federation Australia (FFA) until her departure in January 2010. She also wrote the playing biography of former Socceroo and national team manager, Frank Farina; is publisher of a curated football news site,; writes regularly on football issues and has written a book on her experience inside the Australian World Cup bid, to be published soon. Mersiades was identified in the Eckert Summary Report as the Australian ‘whistleblower’ despite assurances of confidentiality from Michael Garcia. She is a FIFA reform activist and co-founder of the advocacy group, #NewFIFANow. She lives in Sydney with her husband and dog, Zepp, and has two adult sons. She follows Sydney FC, Everton and Fiorentina. Twitter: @bonitamersiades

Roger Pielke Jr. is a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado, where he also directs its Center for Science and technology Policy Research. He studies, teaches and writes about science, innovation, politics and sports. He has written for The New York TimesThe GuardianFiveThirtyEight, and The Wall Street Journal among many other places. He is as a regular contributing columnist for Sportingintelligence. Blog: Linked here Twitter: @RogerPielkeJR

James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, co-director of the University of Würzburg’s Institute for Fan Culture, and the author of The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer blog and a forthcoming book with the same title. Twitter: @mideastsoccer

Nick Harris is the editor of Sportingintelligence. A graduate of SOAS and specialising in African development politics, he worked as a foreign correspondent for the Hokkaido Shimbun before becoming a sports writer with The Independent. He’s also written for the Sunday Times, The Guardian and The Sunday Telegraph among other newspapers, journals and magazines and has been the chief sports news correspondent of the Mail on Sunday since 2010. His books include ‘England, Their England‘ and ‘A Man in a Hurry‘. Twitter (for this website): @sportingintel


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