FIFA keeps presidential election date of Feb. 26 despite Blatter, Platini bans

FIFA decided on Tuesday to stick with its presidential election date on Feb. 26, as uncertainty surrounded Michel Platini's candidacy.

Platini will not be allowed to stand in the presidential election while his 90-day provisional suspension remains in force, FIFA confirmed after the executive committee meeting met for the first since FIFA president Sepp Blatter and Platini were banned two weeks ago.

The UEFA president has already submitted his candidacy but faces being kept out over a 2011 payment of 2 million Swiss francs (about $2 million) he received for work carried out at least nine years earlier.

A FIFA statement read: "Domenico Scala, in his capacity as chairman of the FIFA Ad-hoc Electoral Committee, provided information to the Executive Committee regarding the ongoing process for the FIFA presidential election.

"He explained that candidacies for the FIFA Presidency that are submitted in due time and form, but which relate to candidates who are subject to a [provisional or definite] ban from taking part in any football-related activity, will not be processed by the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee as long as such ban is valid and in force."

Platini has challenged his suspension and is awaiting the verdict of the FIFA appeals committee. UEFA is pushing for a swift decision in appeals at FIFA and possibly the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

If Platini's suspension is lifted before the election, he may be able to re-enter the race. FIFA said its election oversight committee will not rule on Platini's eligibility as a candidate -- including a mandatory integrity check -- until "such a ban be lifted or expire before the FIFA presidential election."

With Platini's eligibility still up in the air, Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa could be set to enter the race as part of an agreement with UEFA, according to his key backer.

FIFA's ethics committee has previously been prevented from making public details of its investigations and decisions but the body said it had agreed on Tuesday to a change in the ruling.

"Article 36 of FIFA's Code of Ethics will be amended to allow the Ethics Committee, at its discretion, to publish more information about its ongoing proceedings," a statement said.

FIFA said it will reveal names of those currently under investigation on Wednesday.

A statement read: "In future, it will be possible to confirm the opening of proceedings against leading representatives of world football on request.

"The Committee will inform about pending proceedings against individuals on the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 21, once the notification of the relevant parties has been conducted."

Aside from Platini, former FIFA vice president Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan and former Trinidad and Tobago player David Nakhid have said they submitted their five required federation nominations.

The FIFA crisis, which was sparked by the arrest of soccer officials in Zurich ahead of Blatter's re-election in May, led to a reform process being instigated to overhaul how the organisation is run.

The reform commission, chaired by former IOC secretary general Francois Carrard, also said on Tuesday it was proposing a 12-year term limit for FIFA presidents and an age limit of 74 for the president and executives.

The committee also recommended that the annual pay of the president and executives be made public. The tainted executive committee could be renamed as the "FIFA Council."

The report read: "In order to restore confidence in FIFA, significant changes to FIFA's institutional structure and operational processes are necessary to make them more transparent and accountable.

"Essential changes to the culture of FIFA are necessary to effect lasting change on the organization and to restore FIFA's reputation so that it can focus on its mission: to promote football throughout the world."

Any changes have to be approved by all 209 FIFA members at the Feb. 26 congress in Zurich.

The executive committee was chaired in Blatter's absence by FIFA's senior vice president Issa Hayatou, the longtime African soccer leader who is now interim president.

Blatter is also challenging his provisional ban pending a full investigation by the FIFA ethics committee.

Information from The Associated Press and Press Association was used in this report.