Former Trinidad and Tobago international midfielder David Nakhid has become the latest contender to formally submit a bid for the Fifa presidency, while the Reform Committee of world football’s governing body has held its latest meeting, stating its plans are “on track”.
The 51-year-old Nakhid is based in Lebanon, where he runs a football academy, and first announced his intention to run for the Fifa presidency in August. The holder of 35 caps for Trinidad and Tobago between 1992 and 2005, Nakhid has now successfully secured the five nominations from national associations needed to become a candidate and has submitted his paperwork to Fifa’s election committee.
Former Fifa vice-president Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, the Jordan federation head, and Uefa president Michel Platini, who is currently serving a 90-day suspension as he is investigated by Fifa’s Ethics Committee, are the other two officials to have formally submitted their bids. Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain is expected to follow suit, with the two Arab royals now considered the frontrunners in the race.
However, Nakhid has claimed that neither would represent good solutions for a new-look Fifa. “We don’t represent big money from the Gulf nor do we represent the luxury of royalty,” he told the Reuters news agency. “What we do represent is someone who can stake the claim for a better balance in the global game.
“You look at Prince Ali, someone who has been head of his own association since he was 23, 16 years. Now he wants to come and talk about reform? He has been there 16 years by decree. What can he tell us about reform? Has he had a challenger in those 16 years that he has been there as a Prince? Come on.”
Nakhid said Fifa Executive Committee member Sheikh Salman, who is closely allied with Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, a key powerbroker in international sport, is part of the Fifa establishment. Nakhid said: “He has been part of that circle no matter what is said. He has been around in Asia and if you know a bit about Asian football and the acrimonious battles that were waged and then you know it is going to be hard to split these guys from anything that has gone on. I think they need to be scrutinised as everyone should be, then hopefully we can come up with someone who is good for football.”
Nakhid said he has won support in the Caribbean and from other confederations but his backers did not want him to disclose their identity. He added: “This is one of the things we want to address. You can see a legacy of recriminations has been left. These federations feel that for them to step out of the box, they are going to be recriminated against but in due time hopefully we can change those things as well.”
Meanwhile, the second meeting of the Fifa Reform Committee, designed to restore the integrity and reputation of Fifa ended yesterday (Sunday) with only a brief statement released on what was undertaken during the three days in Berne, Switzerland. Francois Carrard, the former director general of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who is leading the Reform Committee, said the reform proposals are expected to be completed at its next meeting on November 19-20.
Carrard said: “It’s been a very positive session characterised by rich and in-depth discussions on all aspects of the proposal for the reforms package which is being prepared. I will provide a progress report with concrete recommendations to the Fifa Executive Committee at its extraordinary meeting on 20 October, 2015.
“We expect to complete our proposals at our upcoming session before the subsequent Fifa Executive Committee meeting in December. I intend to set up an advisory board as anticipated so that it can consider the proposed reforms ahead of the December Executive Committee meeting. Our progress is on track.”
The only proposed reforms to be published have come from Domenico Scala, the independent chairman of Fifa’s Audit and Compliance Committee. Scala last month unveiled an eight-point plan for the comprehensive reform of Fifa. Scala’s plan includes 12-year term limits for elected Fifa officials from the president down, full disclosure of the financial compensation of the president, general secretary and executive committee members and more detailed and effective integrity checks on members of committees.
The eight-point blueprint also includes replacing the all-powerful executive committee with a governing council, elected by congress, and a management committee to handle the day-to-day affairs of the organisation. Scala’s plan has been discussed by the Reform Committee, but he is not part of the body.
Finally, Fifa has suspended the Kuwait Football Association (KFA) over government interference in the running of football. The Fifa ExCo last month gave Kuwait until October 15 to make changes to the Gulf country’s sports law. The suspension means Kuwaiti national teams and clubs are suspended from international competition until the KFA can prove independent governance.