Europe's soccer body calls for postponement in FIFA presidential election

UEFA calls for FIFA presidential election to be postponed, says it may boycott FIFA conference

Hours after the indictment of top officials of world soccer's governing organization, Europe's soccer body called for the postponement of Friday's scheduled FIFA presidential election and is considering boycotting this week's FIFA conference.

UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said the investigations into FIFA officials “tarnish the image of football as a whole" and said the soccer organizing body supports new elections to be held in six months. Infantino also said Europe's soccer organizations are considering staying away from the FIFA congress in Zurich.

The announcement came after an emergency meeting of UEFA leaders, led by President Michael Platini, in Warsaw on Wednesday.

UEFA's leadership has publicly thrown its support behind Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, who is attempting to unseat FIFA President Sepp Blatter in Friday's election at the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich. Blatter is heavily favored to win what would be his fifth term as FIFA president.

Blatter was not arrested or charged in connection with the criminal probes being conducted by U.S. and Swiss authorities. FIFA spokesman Walter de Gregorio said Blatter is fully cooperating with the investigations.

Each investigation focuses on allegations of corruption tied to the awarding of sites for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup competitions. Swiss authorities, acting on the behest of a U.S. indictment, arrested seven FIFA officials during Wednesday's conference.

De Gregorio told reporters Wednesday that FIFA would not re-vote on the 2018 and 2022 sites.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

11:06 a.m.: This article has been updated with UEFA calling for a postponement of the FIFA presidential election.

This post was originally published at 6:20 a.m.

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