The following statement has been issued by Andreas Bantel following articles raising questions in relation to the nationality of the chairman of the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee:

“Having the same nationality as one of the candidates does not, in itself, automatically lead to a conflict of interest for the members of the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee of FIFA. There is also no specific provision in this respect in the Electoral Regulations for the FIFA Presidency. In the context of the last election in May 2015, Mr Scala withdrew because he had the same nationality as the incumbent FIFA President, who was one of the candidates. Mr Scala, at the time, did so in order to avoid any appearance of a potential conflict of interest situation based on nationality with regard to this particular candidate and simply as a precautionary measure on a voluntary basis.

With regard to the current election process however, the difference is that no incumbent President having the same nationality as Mr Scala is one of the candidates. Hence, there is no comparable situation of a potential conflict of interest. In addition, none of the admitted candidates has raised this matter to date, which makes it evident that Mr Scala’s impartiality is not put in question by any of them.”