Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa
Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa is hoping to become the next Fifa presidentGetty Images

Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa's bid to become the next Fifa president has been endorsed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) today (5 February). The announcement is a major boost for the 50-year-old from Bahrain, who is hoping to becoming the man to replaced Sepp Blatter as the president of the sport's governing body.

The news was confirmed by Suketu Patel, the vice-president of Africa's football governing body, who announced the Asian Football Confederation president as its preferred candidate for the coveted position.

CAF opted to back Sheikh Salman over the South African candidate, Tokyo Sexwale, who had been aiming to get the support of his own continent. Sexwale is one of the richest men in Africa, but his presidential bid has failed to gain any momentum, according to The Guardian.

CAF's decision is considered to be central to the overall outcome of the election, as the body's member associations have the biggest voting bloc in the election. CAF comprises 54 of the total 209 votes at the poll in Zurich, Switzerland, on 26 February.

Prince Ali Al-Hussein of Jordan remains the favourite to succeed Blatter as the Fifa president, while Gianni Infantino, the general secretary of Uefa, has received the backing of a number of high-profile figures within the game, including Sir Alex Ferguson and former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.