Sepp Blatter resigns, so who will become next FIFA president?
Within minutes of FIFA president Sepp Blatter resigning Tuesday as the leader of football's ruling body, the race to succeed him had started.
According to FIFA rules, all potential candidates must have played an active role in football for at least two years and have the backing of at least five member associations. Blatter acknowledged Tuesday that FIFA needs an "overhaul," and here we take a look at just who might be the person to do it.
Odds according to William Hill. For more information on betting lines, including renewed odds on the 2022 World Cup hosts, check out ESPN Chalk.
The president of the Confederation of African Football stood against Blatter in 2002 for the FIFA presidency, but in recent years has become a part of Blatter's inner circle. In fact, the Cameroonian has been accused of running a Blatter-like regime within his own continent and is unlikely to be popular among the nations that led the campaign against Blatter.
The 79-year-old has built a formidable power base within CAF and could well fancy his chances of becoming the first black president of FIFA, but his past involvement in corruption scandals will count against him. He'll have to do a lot of convincing that he has what it takes to clean up the world governing body.
- Prince Ali confirms intention to run for FIFA president
- FIFA not credible with Blatter - Ali | Investigation
- Chung slams Platini | Platini announces candidacy
- Marcotti: Carrard talks Blatter-style nonsense
- Blatter resigns | What you need to know | Social
- FIFA officials arrested at dawn in Zurich | The defendants
- Munson: The legal implications | What has been said
- Explainer: FIFA's ugly game | Timeline of corruption
UEFA's president has said in the past that he does not want to be FIFA president, but that was probably because he did not want to take on Blatter and face the embarrassment of losing. With his former mentor out of the way, the Frenchman might take the challenge of reforming world football's governing body.
Experienced in the murky world of football politics, Platini is a smart operator and will be the number one choice for many. With the bulk of smaller football nations (most of whom backed Blatter) fearful of UEFA dominance in FIFA, the big question is will Platini be able to assure them that he also has their interests at heart?
Odds: 6-5 favourite
Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein
The leading challenger to Blatter fought a valiant campaign and did well to secure 73 votes in last Friday's presidential election in Zurich. Despite no longer being a FIFA vice president and vowing to walk away from the organisation if he lost, he is still involved in football administration through the West Asian Football Federation. This makes him eligible to stand.
Well-connected, he is highly regarded throughout the world game and is seen as a clean and safe pair of hands. Even some of those who did not vote for him privately said how impressed they were with his ideas for making FIFA a more transparent and accountable organisation. He charmed the world football family during his campaign and would be a popular choice if he was to throw his hat into the ring once more.
The former FIFA World Player of the Year may like the idea of returning to run the organisation that bestowed him the honour. Figo stepped down as a candidate just a week before Friday's election, deciding to throw his lot behind Prince Ali. However, during an impressive campaign, he demonstrated all of the attributes required to become a global football administrator. His was the most comprehensive manifesto of any of the candidates and given his reputation, he was well-received wherever he went.
Despite his popularity, he may not have the experience yet to become FIFA president. Figo is certainly one for the future, and this election, when it happens, may come a little too early for the former Barcelona, Real Madrid and Portugal striker.
President of the Turkish FA, he is a highly experienced football administrator and is largely seen as a neutral figure who is not aligned to any power cliques within FIFA. An executive committee member since 1996, he is not a big Blatter fan. In addition to helping establish Turkish football within Europe, Erzik is popular among many African countries for his association's involvement with a number of football development projects.
A private family man, the 73-year-old may think twice about putting himself forward to take a job that involves extensive travel and living under the public spotlight.
Recently appointed as CONCACAF general secretary, Howard replaced Enrique Sanz, one of the men arrested last week in the FIFA corruption scandal and subsequently suspended. Howard is experienced in the world of sports business and marketing at places such as the NBA and other private companies.
Howard is also a former executive director of the North American Soccer League, a background that might be just what FIFA needs in its drive to overhaul how it does business. He is considered a low-key figure within world football and is not well-known beyond his own confederation. If Howard decides to go for the top job, he will struggle to win over nations in Africa and Asia in particular, but could be a good option given his clean reputation and business skills.
He is an outsider who will provide plenty of laughs and headlines should he choose to stand. The chairman of the English FA is not afraid to speak his mind and has been one of Blatter's biggest critics, leading calls for a boycott of the 2018 World Cup. Dyke wears his heart on his sleeve and is passionate about the game. In the delicately balanced world of football politics, however, he may come across like a bull in a china shop.
Dyke is a big figure in the English game but not well-known beyond its shores. He lacks political tact and nous to really press the flesh and convince the suits that he would make a good president. The 71-year-old has plenty of energy and enthusiasm, but you need a lot more than that to become FIFA's head honcho.
Vivek Chaudhary covers FIFA and the financial side of the game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @viveksport