Prince Ali to stand for FIFA presidency

Tue Jan 6, 2015 8:42am EST
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(Reuters) - Jordanian royal Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, a close ally of UEFA President Michel Platini, announced plans on Tuesday to challenge for the leadership of world soccer's scandal-hit governing body FIFA.

The current FIFA vice-president and head of the Jordanian and West Asian Football Federations said he had been encouraged to stand by colleagues disenchanted with Sepp Blatter's governance of the body, hit by endless corruption allegations.

The 39-year-old British and American educated Prince will join Jerome Champagne in challenging the 78-year-old Blatter, who is widely expected to announce this month his candidature for a fifth term in the May elections in Zurich.

"I am seeking the presidency of FIFA because I believe it is time to shift the focus away from administrative controversy and back to sport," Prince Ali said in a statement.

"This was not an easy decision. It came after careful consideration and many discussions with respected FIFA colleagues over the last few months.

"The message I heard, over and over, was that it is time for a change. The world game deserves a world-class governing body — an International Federation that is a service organisation and a model of ethics, transparency and good governance."

FIFA has lurched from one crisis to another, with many of its all powerful executive committee members leaving their positions in the wake of the controversy over the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar in 2010.

Blatter, first elected president in 1998, has held onto his position but has been criticised heavily for allowing corruption to take place under his watch.

Ethics investigator Michael Garcia resigned last month and complained about a lack of leadership in world soccer's governing body after being angered at the way his 43-page report into the bidding process for the World Cups was handled.   Continued...

FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Jordan's Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein (L), FIFA's vice president Asia, chairman of the Jordan Football Association, hold a joint news conference in Amman May 26, 2014. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed