Baku. 26 February. REPORT.AZ/ Soccer leaders have gathered in Zurich to elect a new FIFA president, with Asian confederation head Sheikh Salman the favorite to succeed Sepp Blatter, Report informs.
The presidential election is to begin at about 13 00 GMT following speeches by the five candidates.
Blatter was re-elected for a fifth term in May but, amid escalating corruption scandals, bowed to pressure four days later and announced he would resign. Blatter was subsequently banned for six years for financial mismanagement.
Before electing FIFA's first new president since 1998, the 207 nations eligible to vote will be asked to approve reforms intended to prevent further corruption and bribery scandals.
The congress also attended by AFFA (Association Football Federations of Azerbaijan) President Rovnag Abdullayev, Vice-President Elshad Nasirov and Secretary General Elkhan Mammadov.
IOC President Thomas Bach has told soccer leaders that new standards of governance are now required as they prepare to elect a new president.
In an attempt to prevent corruption, 207 nations were also voting on reforms at soccer's governing body.
Bach told the FIFA extraordinary congress that "we live in a world that is asking new questions ... you can't compare the standards of good governance of yesterday with the requirements of today."
On the day of the FIFA presidential election, security forces are on the streets of Bahrain's capital in a sizeable show of force rarely seen since the island nation's 2011 uprising.
Sheikh Salman, a member of Bahrain's ruling family, is one of the favorites to succeed Sepp Blatter as FIFA president.
It's not clear what security forces were preparing for Friday ahead of noon prayers, but travel within Manama was nearly impossible.
Acting FIFA secretary general Markus Kattner says staff morale has been hit by a looming $550 million financial deficit.
Kattner tells the FIFA election congress there is "general uncertainty that is affecting morale of the FIFA team."
He says "we are currently $550 million behind our goals" to reach a budget target of $5 billion revenue from the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
FIFA has not signed any new World Cup sponsors since the 2014 tournament in Brazil.
Since American and Swiss federal investigations of corruption hit FIFA last May, officials have cautioned that potential sponsors would wait until after the election to replace Sepp Blatter before committing.
Kattner says FIFA is "optimistic of concluding contracts" soon.
FIFA will publish its 2015 financial report next month. It is expected to show a loss of at least $100 million.