gianni infantino
Many feel Gianni Infantino can be the next FIFA PresidentReuters

The 2016 FIFA Extraordinary Congress is scheduled to take place Friday at the Hallenstadion in Zurich, Switzerland, and by the end of the day, we will get to see a new FIFA president.

A total of 209 member associations will be casting their votes for the five FIFA presidential candidates, who will be aiming to succeed Sepp Blatter as the ninth FIFA president. There are 207 eligible voters and although Kuwait and Indonesia are currently barred from taking part in the election process, it is expected that they will be in the list of voters by the start of the ballot process.

The five FIFA presidential hopefuls will be given 15 minutes to address the FIFA Congress prior to the start of the voting process, explaining their mandate as well as their vision ahead for the world governing body of football.

While there have been a lot of controversies in the run-up to the elections, with Michel Platini and Blatter being handed six-year bans from all football-related activities, we have five confirmed candidates:

The FIFA presidential candidates

Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa: The AFC president is seen as the front-runner for the FIFA presidential election, according to the BBC. The member of FIFA's executive committee since 2013 wants to split FIFA into two groups -- one that completely handles the business side and another that completely handles the football side.

"It's difficult to identify who is right, who is wrong, who is corrupt, who is not, if he is four or 6,000 miles away," Sheikh Salman was quoted by Associated Press when asked to share his views on the corruption in FIFA. "I don't want the risk to the whole organisation. We have to be optimistic. I don't think it can get worse."

Gianni Infantino: The general-secretary of UEFA, well-known to football fans for his presence during the Champions League and Europa League draws, is also billed as one of the top candidates to succeed Sepp Blatter. Infantino has support from the English FA, the Scottish FA as well as the South American football nations.

Unanimously elected by the UEFA to become a FIFA presidential candidate after UEFA President Michel Platini was handed a 90-day provisional suspension by the FIFA Ethics Committee, Infantino wants the FIFA World Cup to feature 40 teams, so that smaller nations can participate as well.

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein: The former FIFA executive committee member, who is also the brother of the King of Jordan, wants "total development of football around the world". 

"The FIFA Presidential election should go ahead as planned but only if it is free, fair and honest," Prince Ali has been quoted by ESPN, ahead of the FIFA presidential election. "I want this election to occur as soon as possible, but not at the risk of undermining its integrity. The transparent voting booths are now in Zurich and available for use in Friday's election."

Tokyo Sexwale: The South African, who spent some time in jail with Nelson Mandela during the Apartheid era, is currently FIFA's envoy to Israel and Palestine. Among his many manifestos, he wants to allow the national football teams to have commercial shirt sponsors.

Also, he wants to re-distribute wealth to the poor member associations of FIFA to make them financially stronger.

Jerome Champagne: The former adviser to Sepp Blatter is known for singing praises for the outgoing FIFA president. However, it remains doubtful if he can really attract a lot of votes for himself in the FIFA presidential election.

When does voting start:

The first round of voting is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. GMT (7 p.m. IST, 8:30 a.m. EST) Feb. 26 and the winner can be most-likely declared by about 5:30 p.m. GMT (11 p.m. IST, 12:30 p.m. EST).

How to select the winner:

The first round of the counting of votes determines the winner if he has two-thirds of the total support. However, if that scenario doesn't take place, a majority of 105 votes from a 209-nation contest is needed to determine the winner.

If the second step also doesn't determine a winner, the third round of counting takes place and the candidates with the fewest votes from round two are given the bye.

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