FIFA Sets Presidential Election Date, Will Replace Sepp Blatter On Feb. 26

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FIFA probably will experience regime change for the first time in ages early next year. Then again, things might remain the same.

FIFA announced on its website Monday it will hold a presidential election on Feb. 26, 2016. The election to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA president will take place amid an extraordinary meeting of the organization’s 209-nation Congress.

Blatter has held FIFA’s top job since 1998, but he announced last month he would step down in order to allow the scandal-ridden body a chance to pick a new leader. Blatter has been vague (perhaps intentionally) about his specific plans and reportedly hasn’t ruled out running again, despite previously pledging not to do so.

Federations have until Oct. 26 to nominate candidates for FIFA president. At least five member nations must support a candidate for him or her to earn official nomination. FIFA’s presidents serve four-year terms.

FIFA’s Executive Committe, around which the recent corruption scandals center, also announced it would proceed with governance reforms aimed at increasing transparency and restoring some confidence in the organization.

Blatter will remain in office until at least the new election date, stretching the time between his June 2 psuedo-resignation announcement and his actual departure to around nine months.

What happens after that is anyone’s guess.

Lee Nelson crashes Blatter’s press conference (video) >>

Blatter’s FIFA exit meaningless without reforms >>

Thumbnail photo via Ennio Leanza/Keystone/The Associated Press

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