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The Daily Dirt: FIFA elections going ahead as planned

Michel Platini be damned.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

FIFA says its planned February 26 elections will go ahead as planned, even if top candidate Michel Platini is unable to participate due to suspension. Platini, the president of UEFA and apparent successor to Sepp Blatter's corrupt regime, is facing a 90-day suspension for taking a $2 million bribe, but FIFA's ethics committee could extend that ban to five years.

In an attempt to prevent further corruption, FIFA has laid out some possible reforms — a corrupt organization policing itself? sure — including term and age limits for elected officials and more transparency.

Three Americans on FIFA Ballon d'Or shortlist for women [SSFC]

Goalkeeper Hope Solo and midfielder Megan Rapinoe are in contention for world player of the year, as is midfielder Carli Lloyd. You remember Carli Lloyd, right?

Lloyd is the one who scored a first-half hat trick in the World Cup final win over Japan. (We'll take any excuse to post that highlight.)

2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or shortlist -- rating the 23 contenders' chances of glory [ESPNFC]

The usual suspects here: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, and Luis Suarez lead the way. The top contender outside Spain seems to be Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski, who makes scoring five goals in a game look like a piece of cake.