Prince Ali to challenge Sepp Blatter for FIFA presidency
FIFA vice president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein says he will challenge Sepp Blatter in FIFA's presidential election, saying “it is time for a change” in the way the organization is run.
FIFA’s presidential election will be held on May 29 in Zurich. Blatter is seeking a fifth term.
Candidates have until Jan. 29 to declare interest in the position, and five of FIFA’s 209 members must nominate Prince Ali for him to be considered for the job. Jerome Champagne of France has also announced his intentions to unseat Blatter.
"This was not an easy decision," Prince Ali said in a statement published on the Jordan Football Association website. "It came after careful consideration and many discussions with respected FIFA colleagues over the last few months."
Blatter has been FIFA’s president since 1998, but his tenure has been associated with a number of controversies, notably including allegations of corruption during the World Cup bid process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.
Those two countries were cleared of major wrongdoing, but it prompted FIFA ethics investigator Michael Garcia to resign over the way his report was handled.
The 39-year-old Prince Ali is the head of the West Asian Football Federation and pushed for Garcia's report to be made public, which Blatter opposed. He is the son of the late King Hussein and Queen Alia of Jordan.
“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,” Prince Ali said.
- Scooby Axson