Fifa chiefs have declined the opportunity to postpone the election of Sepp Blatter’s successor as president of the crisis-hit world governing body, which is scheduled for 26 February.
But Michel Platini, president of European confederation Uefa and the leading candidate to replace Blatter, has been told he may not be allowed to stand due to investigations into a controversial £1.3m payment.
Both men have been suspended for 90 days while Fifa’s ethics committee decides whether to bring charges over the payment, made by Blatter to Platini in 2011 for work they say took place nine years earlier.
Fifa’s executive committee yesterday agreed to stick with a February vote. Blatter has pledged to step down despite winning a fifth four-year term last year.
Ex-France captain Platini was the favourite to replace the Swiss before becoming embroiled in corruption allegations that have rocked Fifa. Both men deny wrongdoing.
He may or may not be allowed to stand if his ban is lifted before the vote, Fifa said. Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, a former Fifa vice-president, is the new favourite.