South American football federations will back UEFA’s Gianni Infantino for the FIFA presidency, its regional group said.

South American Football Confederation president Juan Angel Napout said the group would vote “as a block” for Infantino at the February 26 election for a successor to Sepp Blatter, head of the scandal-tainted FIFA.

“We have spoken with Gianni to set out what is needed,” he added late Thursday after the Conmebol meeting in Rio de Janeiro.

Infantino is currently secretary general of UEFA and one of six candidates for the FIFA presidency. The Swiss official has said he will stand aside if his boss UEFA president Michel Platini is allowed to stand.

Platini is currently suspended by FIFA, alongside Blatter, while an investigation into alleged corruption at the world body is conducted by Swiss prosecutors.

The other candidates are Asian football chief Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, former FIFA vice president Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan, former FIFA official Jerome Champagne of France and South African businessman and former minister Tokyo Sexwale.

Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Marco Polo del Nero meanwhile resigned as a Conmebol member of the FIFA executive.

Del Nero left Zurich on May 27, the day that seven FIFA officials were arrested ahead of a congress of the world body and has not attended a meeting since.

He has also not travelled abroad for events such as the Copa America even when Brazil were playing.

“Mr Marco Polo Del Nero asked to leave the FIFA executive committee as Conmebol’s representative and he recommended Mr Fernando Sarney as his replacement and that was unanimously approved,” Conmebol said in a statement.

Sarney is the son of a former Brazil president, Jose Sarney de Araujo Costa, and one of the CBF’s four vice-presidents. – Agence France-Presse

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