January 9 – At 78, he would be too old to serve on UEFA’s executive committee yet can still represent Europe at the top table of FIFA.
French FA president Noël Le Graët is set to become a permanent FIFA Council member after UEFA announced he is the only candidate to succeed Germany’s Rainer Grindel.
Le Graët has already been occupying the role on a temporary basis after he was rushed in to take Grindel’s spot when the latter was forced to resign in April last year as a UEFA vice president and from the FIFA Council after being forced out as head of his federation.
The former lawmaker and journalist had come under growing pressure at home for mistakes while running the German FA and stepped down amid reports he had earned undeclared income of €78,000 from a media subsidiary. He also acknowledged accepting a luxury watch gift from a Ukrainian colleague at UEFA.
UEFA had to replace Grindel quickly and their exco chose Le Graet to fill the gap on the decision-making FIFA Council and restore Europe’s full quota.
In a statement, UEFA confirmed that Le Graet was “the only candidate for the post of European member of the FIFA Council, has passed the eligibility check put in place by FIFA.”
The formal election for the three-year term is scheduled for March 3 at the UEFA Congress in Amsterdam.
Le Graet is not eligible for a UEFA exco role, however, as there is an age limit of 70. Instead, Rainer Koch, vice-president of the DFB, will take over that position from Grindel meaning Germany retains the post but for one year only.
The DFB had previously announced that Koch would not run for Grindel’s seat on the FIFA Council, paving the way for Le Graët to assume that role. Koch said the decision was taken with a view to the “Franco-German friendship and respect for Noël Le Graët and his services to football”.
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