Monday April 6th, 2015

FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali bin al-Hussein says he expects more sponsors to back away from the world’s governing soccer body if Sepp Blatter is re-elected president.

Prince Ali is one of three candidates seeking to replace Blatter, who is seeking his fifth four-year term.

Dutch football association president Michael van Praag and former Portugal star Luis Figo are also seeking to unseat Blatter in the presidential election, which will take place May 29 in Zurich.

Prince Ali delivered his manifesto on Monday, pointing out several areas where he would like to see change within FIFA.

"Make no mistake: the damage which is being exacted upon 'Brand FIFA' has financial implications," Prince Ali, who is FIFA’s vice president, writes in the manifesto. "Sponsors have begun to vote with their feet.”

Five sponsors, including Sony and Emirates airline, have already decided not to extend deals with FIFA.

"We should have a situation where sponsors are not only willing to come back but we should have sponsors fighting to sponsor FIFA," Prince Ali told The Associated Press.

Prince Ali said he would see FIFA making a formal rotation of the World Cup being played in different countries, like Euro 2020, which is being played in 13 countries. The 2018 World Cup will be in Russia and Qatar is hosting the 2022 tournament.

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"I think it is also possible that two countries from different confederations could co-host the World Cup,” Prince Ali said. "Look at Europe in 2020 - a number of different regions or countries could host the World Cup - it's in the past now but potentially the Gulf could have had a World Cup due to its close proximity."

Prince Ali also says there needs to be an investigation into how Fox won the rights to televise the 2026 World Cup without any discussion from the FIFA executive committee. He says there is a potential for a “large sum of money” being lost because of the deal.

- Scooby Axson

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