Kenya to vote for CAF choice Salman in FIFA polls

Nairobi, Feb 16 (IANS) Kenya will vote for Bahraini Sheikh Salman during next week’s elections to the world football governing body FIFA.

Kenyan football president Nick Mwendwa said Salman will be his choice in tandem with CAF’s recommendation, passed in Kigali a week ago for the continent to support Salman’s candidacy in bid to succeed Sepp Blatter as FIFA president, reports Xinhua.

This comes barely a week after Mwendwa had been voted in to replace Sam Nyamweya as Kenya’s football boss.

“It is most likely where Confederation of African Football (CAF) will go is where we will go. This is a collective voting, but we will look at what favours us as a country,” said Mwendwa here on Monday.

The CAF in its general meeting in Kigali, Rwanda in early February agreed to back Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Sheikh Salman for the presidency.

“I have spoken to one of the candidates running for FIFA presidency and I hope to speak to the others too. Probably in the next coming days we will speak to more candidates but primarily, we will go with what CAF recommended,” Mwendwa said.

There are five candidates contesting for the FIFA presidency. UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino, Jordan FA president Prince Ali, South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale and former FIFA advisor Jerom Champagne are seeking the mantle to run FIFA for the next five years. Salman, Infantino, Sexwale and Champagne were all in Rwanda to campaign.

The decision improves Salman’s hopes of replacing Blatter. Salman and Infantino are the strongest candidates to win the February 26 election. The biggest continental grouping among the 209 voting members is Africa.

Although CAF executives declared their support for Sheikh Salman, there is nothing compelling African countries to vote for him.

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