The FIFA presidential race has been blown wide open after Asian football chief Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa's decided he will join the contest, Press Association Sport reported on Thursday.
Salman had given his backing to Michel Platini but following the UEFA president's suspension by FIFA's ethics committee he has lost faith in the Frenchman and has decided to run himself, sources close to the Sheikh have told PA.
He is expected to formally announce his candidacy either over the weekend or before Tuesday's emergency meeting of the FIFA executive committee in Zurich.
It will be a serious blow to Platini's hopes -- who anyway would need to be cleared of wrongdoing over a £1.35 million payment to him from FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
Salman's move also damages the chances of Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, who delivered his five nominations to FIFA earlier on Thursday.