FIFA has confirmed its presidential election will go ahead as planned and that Michel Platini cannot stand while his suspension remains in force.
The body’s executive committee met in Zurich on Tuesday to clarify uncertainty surrounding the vote on February 26 after President Sepp Blatter and UEFA President Platini were handed provisional 90-day bans two weeks ago.
Both men are being investigated over a £1.35million payment Platini received from Blatter in 2011, which they say related to consultancy work Platini completed nine years earlier.
Platini has already submitted his candidacy ahead of Monday’s deadline, but the former European Footballer of the Year will not be allowed to enter the presidential race while he remains suspended.
A FIFA statement read: “Domenico Scala, in his capacity as chairman of the FIFA ad-hoc electoral committee, provided information to the executive committee regarding the ongoing process for the FIFA presidential election.
“He explained that candidacies for the FIFA presidency that are submitted in due time and form, but which relate to candidates who are subject to a (provisional or definite) ban from taking part in any football-related activity, will not be processed by the ad-hoc electoral committee as long as such ban is valid and in force.”
FIFA ExCo reconfirms 26 February 2016 as the date of the extraordinary elective congress in Zurich— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) October 20, 2015
Platini denies any wrongdoing and is awaiting the verdict of the FIFA appeals committee after challenging his suspension.
If the Frenchman’s ban were to be lifted before the February election, FIFA has said it would review his candidacy.
The statement continued: “The chairman also told the executive committee that, should such a ban be lifted or expire before the FIFA presidential election, scheduled for 26 February 2016, the ad-hoc electoral committee would decide, depending on the respective exact point in time, on how to proceed with the candidacy concerned.”
There had also been suggestions the election could be postponed but the executive committee confirmed this would not be the case.
The statement read: “FIFA exco reconfirms 26 February 2016 as the date of the extraordinary elective congress in Zurich.”
In addition to Platini, former FIFA vice-president Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, former Trinidad and Tobago player David Nakhid, and Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman al-Khalifa are expected to stand.
The election will decide the successor to Blatter, who has been president since 1998 but announced his decision to stand down in June following the arrest of seven FIFA officials on corruption charges.
Swiss prosecutors then opened criminal proceedings against Blatter in September for criminal mismanagement and the “disloyal payment” to Platini.
Further names under investigation will be revealed on Wednesday after a change to FIFA’s code of ethics was agreed, allowing details of ongoing proceedings to be released.
A statement read: “In future, it will be possible to confirm the opening of proceedings against leading representatives of world football on request.
“The committee will inform about pending proceedings against individuals on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 21, once the notification of the relevant parties has been conducted.”
FIFA’s reform committee also presented its recommendations to the executive committee on how the organisation can become more transparent.
Former International Olympic Committee director general Francois Carrard was picked by FIFA in August to lead the 12-person panel, which includes officials from the six continental confederations.
The reform committee called for FIFA presidents to be subject to an age limit of 74 and a maximum term of 12 years, with salaries of the president and other senior officials to be made public.
It also recommended the executive committee become the ’FIFA Council’, overseeing strategic matters but not having executive powers over policy.
The report read: “In order to restore confidence in FIFA, significant changes to FIFA’s institutional structure and operational processes are necessary to make them more transparent and accountable.
“Essential changes to the culture of FIFA are necessary to effect lasting change on the organization and to restore FIFA’s reputation so that it can focus on its mission: to promote football throughout the world.”