Sepp Blatter resigns as FIFA president after 17 years in the role. Blatter resigns amid the massive FIFA corruption and many are speculating that the 79-year-old decided to leave as the FBI noose tightens.
Despite running relatively unopposed throughout the majority of his term, Sepp Blatter will finally be replaced. In a deeply divided organization such as FIFA, no candidate will be an obvious standout. However, there are individuals who are already powerful and popular enough to mount a serious claim for the FIFA presidency.
Michel Platini is seen as the most qualified candidate for the job, despite many believing it would be more of the same. The 59-year-old is now the president of UEFA, arguably the most powerful association within FIFA. Platini is often regarded as one of the finest players to grace the sport; however, his term as UEFA president has been marred with controversy as well.
Unlike Sepp Blatter, Platini has not been a fan of goal technology, opting for additional assistant referees along the goal line. His most notable achievement as UEFA president has been the introduction of Financial Fair Play which restricts clubs to spend what they earn rather than running into future financial problems. The FFP regulation was seen as a move to curb owners from pumping external money into clubs, then leveraging the debt against said club. Platini has since stated that the regulations would be relaxed.
Just four days after losing to Sepp Blatter, Prince Ali has stated that he is willing to run for FIFA president again. The 39-year-old Jordanian is seen as the new blood needed to rejuvenate FIFA after the massive corruption scandal. Prince Ali has stated repeatedly that his first agenda within FIFA would be to restore its credibility, although many are unconvinced that he has the stature to lead FIFA.
After making the transition from diplomacy to football following the 1998 World Cup in France, Jerome Champagne has made his position up the football political ladder. The Frenchman planned to run against Blatter in this year's election, but failed to gather enough support. Champagne has been a vocal critic of the Qatar World Cup in 2022.
Seen as an outsider, David Gill previously stated that he would resign if Sepp Blatter has been reelected. Gill is previously known for his work as finance director at Manchester United where he worked along side Sir Alex Ferguson. His partnership with the former United boss fostered one of the most successful commercial and trophy haul in the modern game.
[Photos by Alessandro Della Bella, Philipp Schmidli, Mark Nolan and Julian Finney /Getty Images]