JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israel central bank governor Stanley Fischer's chance of becoming the next head of the International Monetary Fund are "not great," Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz acknowledged Sunday. Fischer announced Saturday he was throwing his hat into the ring for the IMF top job, challenging frontrunners French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde and Mexico's central bank governor Agustin Carstens. The job became vacant unexpectedly after former IMF chief Frenchman Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned on May 18 to fight sexual assault charges in New York. Steinitz, who has already said he will support Fischer's bid, told Israel army radio that Israeli economist's chances of being elected were "not great." "One problem is his age. Fischer is 67, which is two years older than the demands for the position," Steinitz said. "I hope they find a way around it, it's not a suitable criteria in this day and age." But Steinitz said the main problem for Fischer was the political nature in which the candidate was chosen. "The main problem is that choice is political. If it was professional it's difficult to think of a more deserving candidate than Stanley Fischer." The 24-member executive board, representing all the IMF's members, has targeted the end of June to reach a consensus on one of the candidates, which is how it has decided the issue in the past. The job traditionally goes to a European, making Lagarde the favourite, with an American taking the top post at the World Bank. Strauss-Kahn's resignation has however sparked calls for the next IMF chief to come from an emerging economy, which could favour Carstens's bid. Commentators said Fischer was likely hoping he could be a compromise candidate, should the delegates become deadlocked over the other two. Fischer, an American economist, took Israeli citizenship before accepting the post of Bank of Israel governor. He began his second five-year term in March. He has held senior positions at the World Bank and was the number two at the IMF and at financial giant Citigroup.