ESPN invites Fifa presidential candidates to live TV debate

Jerome Champagne
Champagne told Sporting Intelligence he had agreed to appear in the live debate

The five candidates hoping to become Fifa president have been invited to take part in a live televised debate.

According to sportingintelligence.com, American broadcaster ESPN wants to host the event in London on 29 January.

The election for the next head of world football's governing body is due to take place on 26 February in Zurich.

The presidential hopefuls are Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, Tokyo Sexwale, Gianni Infantino and Jerome Champagne.

Champagne told sportingintelligence.com: "I can tell you that ESPN proposed to the candidates a televised debate and I have already expressed my agreement."

Who are the Fifa candidates?

  • Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, 40, is president of the Jordan Football Association (Profile)
  • Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, 49, is Asian Football Confederation president (Profile)
  • Tokyo Sexwale, 62, is a South African former government minister (Profile)
  • Gianni Infantino, 45, is Uefa's general secretary (Profile)
  • Jerome Champagne, 57, is a former Fifa executive (Profile)

Uefa boss Michel Platini, 60, also hoped to run as a candidate, but the Frenchman was suspended for eight years from all football-related activities following an ethics investigation.

The 79-year-old Blatter was also handed an eight-year ban after both men were found guilty of breaches surrounding a £1.3m ($2m) "disloyal payment" made to Platini in 2011.

Swiss Blatter, Fifa president since 1998, and Platini deny wrongdoing and intend to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.