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With both FIFA president Sepp Blatter and UEFA chief Michel Platini -- the man many assumed would replace Blatter eventually -- it looks very possible that FIFA will postpone the special presidential election that was scheduled after FIFA was rocked by a massive criminal corruption scandal this summer.
The election was meant to find a new president to replace Blatter after his 17-year reign atop world football, and was scheduled for February after he declared that he would "step down" just days after being re-elected in the wake of that scandal exploding. However, reports indicate that after Blatter's suspension was announced, a number of FIFA Executive Committee members started pushing to call for an emergency meeting to take place soon, with that same election atop the agenda.
Interestingly, the three named ExCo members calling for this meeting are all UEFA representatives -- England's David Gill, Wolfgang Niersbach of Germany, and Belgium's Michel D'Hooge. Given that Platini was suspended from all FIFA-related activity as well, delaying the election would likely help his chances of winning the election. The Frenchman was seen as the favorite to replace Blatter, though this suspension will be seen as reason not to elect him -- unless his friends in UEFA can get the election pushed back and add more distance between it and his time away.
In the news
Speaking of Blatter and his suspension, he has filed an official appeal against it. (Guardian)
Karim Benzema suffered a hamstring injury playing for France on Thursday, and will miss three weeks of action. (Marca)
Mario Götze also suffered an injury in Germany's loss to Ireland, and will be out 10-12 weeks. (Bayern Munich twitter)
Napoli are planning to extend the contract of new manager Maurizio Sarri after his impressive start, who was only tied down for this season. (Football Italia)
Northern Ireland have qualified for Euro 2016, and manager Michael O'Neill thinks their 3-1 win over Greece to secure that berth shows their potential. (BBC)
You should be reading
Our Liverpool blog at SB Nation brought their staff together to decide what Jürgen Klopp would have to do to be a success at Anfield. (Liverpool Offside)
Barney Ronay calls Klopp a "modernizing force" that should be treasured. (Guardian)
Richard Petrie put together an in-depth look into the man who lead Northern Ireland to this surprise chance at glory. (BBC)
What happened in Thursday's games
Ireland shocked Germany 1-0 to give themselves a chance at qualifying for Euro 2016. (UEFA)
Robert Lewandowski played the hero with a brace in Poland's 2-2 draw with Scotland, ending Scotland's European Championship qualifying dreams. (UEFA)
Nothern Ireland dominated Greece 3-1 to earn their first-ever European Championship berth. (UEFA)
What to watch on Friday (click for listings, all times ET)
Euro 2016 qualifying (2:45 p.m.): England vs. Estonia is the highest-profile match of the day, but Spain-Luxembourg, Slovakia-Belarus, and Macedonia-Ukraine all have major positioning implications in Group C.