Fifa to discuss presidential polls date in July

Scandal-hit Fifa will hold an extraordinary executive committee meeting next month to discuss dates for the election to replace president Sepp Blatter, who announced his resignation last week.

Football's governing body said in a statement that there were "various date options" for the extraordinary congress, and did not confirm a report by the BBC that the election would take place on Dec 16.

Last week, Domenico Scala, head of Fifa's audit and compliance committee and the man responsible for overseeing the election, said it could take place any time between December and March.

"It requires an extraordinary executive committee that needs to confirm a date and agenda for the extraordinary elective congress," said a Fifa spokesman in a statement sent to Reuters. "This extraordinary executive committee will convene in July, the precise date to be confirmed within this week. For this extraordinary elective congress (to elect Blatter's successor), there are currently various date options for discussion."

Blatter tendered his resignation on June 2, less than a week after Swiss police staged a dawn raid on a luxury hotel in Zurich and arrested several officials on corruption charges filed by United States prosecutors in New York.

However, Blatter is intent on staying in office until his successor is appointed and wants to lead the effort to clean up the federation.

The BBC said that mid-December was Blatter's preferred option for electing a new president.

Jordan's Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, who lost to Blatter in the election, is tipped as a possible candidate while Chung Mong Joon, the billionaire scion of South Korea's Hyundai conglomerate, is also weighing a bid to replace Blatter.

Scala said last week that at least four months' notice was required for a presidential election to be held. "Fifa must also consider appropriate time to vet candidates and allow them to present their ideas for the organisation that set forth their vision," he said at the time.

The executive committee must also decide the deadline by which candidates formally declare their intention to stand.

Candidates need to have written backing from five national associations to be eligible. The president is elected by Fifa's 209 member associations, which each hold one vote.

Fifa will also postpone the start of bidding for the right to host the 2026 World Cup following the launch of a corruption investigation, a Fifa senior official said yesterday.

"Due to the situation, I think it's nonsense to start any bidding process for the time being. It will be postponed," Fifa secretary-general Jerome Valcke said at a news conference in the southern Russian city of Samara.

The decision on who hosts the 2026 finals had been due to be made in Kuala Lumpur in 2017.