FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali bin al-Hussein has called for FIFA not to delay its presidential election, saying doing so would increase instability in an organization already mired in controversy, the Associated Press reports.
“Delaying the scheduled election would only postpone needed change and create further instability,” Ali said in a statement Wednesday. “It would tell the world that lessons haven't been learned, that the same backroom deals that have discredited FIFA in the first place continue.”
When Sepp Blatter announced that he would resign in February, FIFA scheduled a special presidential election for Feb. 26. Ali, UEFA president Michel Platini and former FIFA vice president Chung Mong-joon were the only declared candidates.
Last week, FIFA announced it was suspending Blatter and Platini for 90 days each and Chung for six years as a result of ongoing investigations into their professional conduct by the ethics committee. FIFA’s executive committee then scheduled a meeting for Oct. 20, when it could decide to postpone the election in the wake of recent turbulence.
Blatter and Platini are appealing their bans, and delaying the election could benefit Platini if he is cleared of wrongdoing before the election date.
Ali, a former FIFA vice president, said the committee “should not interfere with an ongoing process that was put in place by the ad hoc electoral committee.”
“The election date of February 26 was set three months ago with a clear procedure that meets all of FIFA’s statutory requirements,” he said. “Candidates have had plenty of time to declare and still do. The rules should not be changed after the game has started.”
- Erin Flynn