Elections for European candidates seeking seats on FIFA Council set for April

Elections for five European members seats on the FIFA Council will be held at the UEFA Congress in April 2017.

Wednesday 8 February 2017 – 09 February 2017 – UEFA Executive Committee, Nyon

Wednesday 5 April 2017 – 41st Ordinary UEFA Congress, Helsinki

Elections for five European member seats on the FIFA Council will take place at the 41st Ordinary UEFA Congress in Helsinki on 5 April next year.

Five candidates will be standing for four seats with four-year terms, and another election for a two-year term will be held, following the official announcement by Mr Wolfgang Niersbach that he is stepping down with immediate effect from his position on the FIFA Council.

The deadline for submitting candidatures for the four-year terms expired on 5 December, and the five candidates are:

Sandor Csyáni (Hungary)

Costakis Koutsokoumnis (Cyprus)

Vitaly Mutko (Russia)

Dejan Savićević (Montenegro)

Geir Thorsteinsson (Iceland)

UEFA’s administration has submitted the completed eligibility questionnaires for all five candidates, to enable the FIFA Review Committee to carry out the necessary eligibility checks ahead of the election.

Following Mr Niersbach’s announcement, the additional election for the two-year term will take place because his mandate as a FIFA Council member was due to end in 2019. Candidatures for this additional seat must be proposed to the UEFA administration in writing by 24.00 CET (midnight) on Thursday 5 January 2017 at the latest, and any additional eligibility checks would then be carried out by FIFA.

Any of the five candidates for the four-year terms of office may take part in the second election for the two-year term of office, provided they inform UEFA of their wish to do so before the 5 January deadline.

Next spring’s UEFA Congress in Helsinki will also feature elections for the UEFA Executive Committee. Eight members will be elected for four-year terms. The deadline for candidatures is Sunday 5 February 2017.


Mutko confirmed as candidate for place on FIFA Council despite Russian doping allegations

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko is among five confirmed candidates for the vacant European member seats on the FIFA Council.

Mutko, who has been a member of the FIFA Council since 2009, must pass an eligibility check prior to the April 5 election at UEFA’s 41st Congress in Finland’s capital Helsinki.

The 58-year-old has submitted an eligibility questionnaire but his candidacy is likely to come under scrutiny given that the Russian Ministry of Sports, which he led until his recent promotion to Deputy Prime Minister, stands accused of directing a conspiracy that covered up hundreds of positive doping tests between 2011 and 2015.

It follows a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report, led by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, into state-sponsored doping in Russia.

Mutko, the President of the Russian Football Union who was a key figure in Russia securing the hosting rights to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, was accused of covering up a failed test from a top-flight football player earlier this year.

The claims were made in a documentary from broadcasters ARD/WDR, entitled: “The Secret World of Doping: Showdown for Russia”.

The fourth edition of the series produced by Hajo Seppelt, Florian Riese Wieck and Felix Becker, the first programme of which proved the catalyst in the doping scandal currently engulfing the nation, alleges Mutko covered up a doping offence made by a footballer who plays for FC Krasnodar.

It is claimed the substance involved was hexarelin, an anabolic steroid, and that the failed test was recorded after Krasnodar beat FC Rostov 2-0 in 2014.

The case was not made public and the player involved was not banned, the documentary alleged, citing correspondences which appear to carry Mutko’s signature.

Also on the list of candidates for the FIFA Council are Hungary’s Sandor Csyani, Cyprus’ Costakis Koutsokoumnis, Montenegro’s Dejan Savicevic and Iceland’s Geir Thorsteinsson.

Csanyi is the chairman of the Hungarian Football Federation, while the other three are Presidents of their respective national associations.

Four candidates will be elected for a four-year term, with the sole defeated candidate being able to compete for the two-year term seat available.

This became vacant following the resignation of former German Football Association President Wolfgang Niersbach, whose term was due to run until 2019.

Earlier this week, Niersbach relinquished his membership of both the FIFA Council and UEFA Executive Committee in the wake of losing his appeal against a one-year suspension from all footballing activity.

The German, vice-president of the Organising Committee for 2006 World Cup in Germany, had contested his ban which he received for failing to report possible misconduct as part of an investigation into the tournament.

The FIFA Appeals Committee ruled, however, that his conduct “constituted a violation” of two articles of the Ethics Code.

The FIFA Council currently has 33 members but will eventually be made up of 37 members, comprising FIFA President Gianni Infantino, eight vice-presidents and 28 members from the six confederations.

Belgium’s Michel D’Hooghe, Turkey’s Senes Erzik and Cyprus’ Marios Lefkaritis are all standing down from the FIFA Council.

The deadline for filing applications to replace them is January 5.