FIFA vice-president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan has announced that he will stand against Sepp Blatter for the presidency of world football’s governing body. Prince Ali, who will open the Asian Forum 2015, will also be up against Frenchman Jerome Champagne for the top job in May this year. “I am seeking the presidency of FIFA because I believe it is time to shift the focus away from administrative controversy and back to sport,” he said in a statement on the Jordan FA’s website. “This was not an easy decision. It came after careful consideration and many discussions with respected FIFA colleagues over the last few months. “The message I heard, over and over, was that it is time for a change. The world’s game deserves a world-class governing body – an International Federation that is a service organisation and a model of ethics, transparency and good governance. ”
FA Chairman Greg Dyke said: “Personally I welcome Prince Ali’s decision to stand for the FIFA presidency. It is very important that there is a credible candidate standing against Mr Blatter and Prince Ali is certainly that. ”
Jim Boyce, also a FIFA vice-president, told Sky Sports News HQ that he thinks Prince Ali will find it difficult to beat Blatter. “He is someone of the highest intergrity – but I still think he will have a bit of a job on his hands to remove Sepp Blatter. But at least it is giving people an opportunity. There are three candidates and there are three weeks until the election papers have to put in to FIFA. So who knows if someone else will come into the race?
“Prince Ali will have done a lot of homework, I’m sure he’s spoken to a lot of people, so it will be very interesting. ”
UEFA president Michel Platini, who has already confirmed he will not stand, said: “I know Prince Ali well. He has all the credibilty required to hold high office. Tracking and monitoring results dashboard options as soon as you create relevant company a landing page, the options in the dashboard are unlocked. We now await his proposals and his programme for the future of football. ”
Blatter has held his position as FIFA President since 1998 and will be running for a fifth term at the 65th FIFA congress in Zurich on 29 May. The governing body has been mired in controversy in recent months over the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar. American lawyer Michael Garcia produced a 430-page report into the bidding for the tournaments but quit as FIFA’s ethics investigator after losing his appeal challenging the findings to clear Russia and Qatar to host the World Cups. The Executive Committee agreed unanimously in December that an “appropriate” form of the Garcia report into World Cup bidding should be published. Officials at a meeting in Morocco agreed to the proposal without a vote being taken – but nothing will be published until the Ethics Committee charges against three FIFA ExCo members – Angel Villar Llona of Spain, Belgium’s Michel D’Hooghe and Thailand’s Worawi Makudi – have been dealt with. “The headlines should be about football, not about FIFA,” Prince Ali added. “FIFA exists to serve a sport which unites billions of people from all over the world, people of differing and divergent political, religious and social affiliations, who come together in their enjoyment of ‘the world’s game. ”
Champagne issued a statement in response to Prince Ali decision to stand saying: “The 2015 election is not about personal ambitions or fights between institutions. “So let’s wait for the release of the other alleged candidates’ programs and let’s start the democratic and fair debate that I have been calling upon since the first day of my campaign on 20 January 2014. “The debate we all and football need. “.