Jordan's Prince Ali calls for delay in FIFA vote, appeals to CAS

Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:04am EST
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By Ossian Shine

LONDON (Reuters) - FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein has appealed to sport's highest tribunal over his request for transparent voting booths and independent scrutineers at Friday's election for the head of the global soccer body.

Prince Ali's lawyers said they had requested a suspension to the election - setting up legal race to resolve the issue before the vote can take place.

Ali, whose request for transparent booths was rejected last week by FIFA, is unhappy with the arrangements for a vote expected to set a new tone of transparency for an organisation mired in the past in secret dealings.

"As a consequence, we are now seeking provisional measures before CAS to suspend the coming election on Friday 26th of February," his lawyers said.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) did not address the the request for a delay in its statement, but said it would decide on a request by Ali for "provisional measures" by Thursday.

With the governance of the world's most popular sport at stake, and the conduct of ballots for the hosts of the next two World Cups already being called into question in criminal investigations, all eyes will be on how the election is carried out as well as the result.

Having rejected the Jordanian prince's offer to make transparent booths available to the congress, FIFA has said it would instead ask voters to leave their mobile phones outside while choosing between the five candidates.

Ali wants the transparent booths to ensure delegates do not photograph their ballot papers. This would prevent delegates coming under pressure to produce evidence of their vote to interested parties.   Continued...

Jordanian Prince Ali bin al-Hussein discusses the FIFA corruption scandal at the National Press Club in Washington December 4, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron