By Brian Homewood
Zurich (Reuters) – Soccer’s governing body FIFA said on Tuesday its presidential election would go ahead as planned on Feb. 26 and promised it would do more to open up internal investigations into complaints and scandals.
The announcement was a blow for UEFA president Michel Platini – a delay in the election mooted by some officials would have given him more time to appeal against a ban from the game and then stand to replace departing leader Sepp Blatter.
Both Blatter and Platini were suspended by FIFA’s Ethics Committee this month, engulfed by a deepening corruption scandal as their sport faces criminal investigations in Switzerland and the United States.
FIFA’s executive committee agreed the election would take place during an extraordinary FIFA Congress in Zurich on Feb. 26, when members would also vote in reforming statutes, the organisation said on Twitter.
The committee also agreed to change an article in FIFA’s Code of Ethics which currently allows only the final decisions of cases can be made public.
The decision followed a request from the Ethics Committee which cannot at present name individuals who are under investigation even when their cases have been widely reported in the media.
FIFA is engulfed in the worst crisis in its 111-year history.
(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi)