ZURICH (Reuters) - Fifa's presidential election should go ahead as planned on Feb 26 and not be delayed due to the suspensions of Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan said on Wednesday.
World soccer chief Blatter and Uefa boss Platini were suspended by Fifa's Ethics Committee last week, engulfed by a deepening corruption scandal as their sport faces criminal investigations in Switzerland and the United States.
Fifa's ruling executive committee will hold an emergency meeting on Oct 20 and the possibility of delaying the election of its next leader is likely to be on the agenda.
"Delaying the scheduled election would only postpone needed change and create further instability," Ali said in a statement, his first since the banning of Blatter and Platini.
"It would tell the world that lessons haven't been learnt, that the same backroom deals that have discredited Fifa in the first place continue," he said.
An election delay would give Platini more time to appeal against his 90-day provisional ban. The ban, together with a possible 45-day extension and the length of any appeals process, are seen as major obstacles to his campaign.
Without Platini in the field, Ali's chances of winning could rise significantly.
As it stands, the deadline for nominations is Oct 26 and prospective candidates face a Fifa integrity check.