Get a Hartford Courant subscription for less than 29 cents per day

Nelson Mandela

African confederation backs Sheikh Salman in FIFA election

Sheikh Salman's bid to succeed Sepp Blatter got a major boost Friday when the African soccer confederation announced it was backing the Bahraini royal for FIFA president.

Following a meeting of its executive committee in Rwanda, the Confederation of African Football said that it would "fully support" the Asian soccer confederation president, and urged its 54 member countries to vote for him.

The decision significantly improved Salman's hopes of replacing Blatter as the head of the scandal-scarred soccer body. Salman and UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino are seen as the strongest candidates to win the Feb. 26 election. The biggest continental grouping among...