FIFA has been 'decimated' by scandals, says Prince Ali

Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:00am EDT
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ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan said that soccer's governing body has been "decimated" by the recent wave of scandals and that he has heard from "many member associations" in the last 24 hours.

The German football federation (DFB) reacted with "great dismay" after the latest scandal to hit FIFA on Friday when

the Swiss attorney general's office (OAG) opened criminal proceedings against president Sepp Blatter on suspicion of criminal mismanagement.

The OAG said Blatter, who has been FIFA president since 1998, was suspected of a "disloyal payment" of 2 million Swiss francs ($2.04 million) made to UEFA president Michel Platini in 2011.

Platini, the favorite to win the election to replace Blatter on Feb. 26, was asked to give information as a witness, the OAG said. UEFA said the payment related to work Platini had carried out under a contract with FIFA.

"I have heard from many member associations over the last 24 hours, and what I have heard gives me confidence that, working together, we can emerge from this stronger," said Prince Ali in a statement.

"The need for new leadership that can restore the credibility of FIFA has never been more apparent.

"We cannot change the past, but we can have a future where FIFA member associations are able to focus on football rather than worrying about the next scandal or criminal investigation involving FIFA leadership.

"We have to accept that changing FIFA is not a matter of choice; it has already changed, shaken to its very core by the scandals that have decimated our governing body and cast a cloud over the entire organization."   Continued...

Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan speaks at the Roman Amphitheatre area in downtown Amman, Jordan, September 9, 2015.  REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed