Prince Ali set to stand for Fifa presidency

LONDON • Prince Ali Al Hussein is expected to declare that he will run for the Fifa presidency in Amman today, according to sources close to the Jordanian prince.

The former Fifa vice-president lost to incumbent Sepp Blatter in an election in May, just two days after the arrest of seven officials connected with world football's governing body in Zurich.

But he believes he could win the race against Uefa (European football body) leader and strong favourite Michael Platini, South Korean tycoon Chung Mong Joon and Brazilian football hero Zico.

"If (the election is) done correctly, cleanly, properly and without interference I believe I can for sure," he said in Manchester on Monday, when he took a swipe at Fifa leaders' links to corruption .

"I have tremendous respect for Platini as both Uefa president and a footballer, but there's a difference between Uefa and Fifa. Platini's introduction into football governance was as a protege of Sepp Blatter. We need a new beginning."

The prince said he had been unconvinced by the French football legend's reform proposals, and that Chung had also been involved in Fifa for "too long".

Prince Ali said the Fifa brand is now "extremely damaged" and its leaders could not escape the spotlight caused by the arrest of seven Fifa officials in Zurich in May on United States bribery charges.

"I do believe that anything that happened within Fifa was known within the Fifa leadership," he said. "There is no way that is not the case."

Members of the executive committee "undoubtedly" knew what was going on in football deals, he added. "If a player or if somebody breaks the rules then they are punished regardless of where they come from, so why is the executive committee different?" he asked.

The prince also repeated calls for Blatter to "take responsibility" and stand down immediately. The Fifa president said he will give up when the special election is held on Feb 26.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2015, with the headline 'Prince Ali set to stand for Fifa presidency'. Print Edition | Subscribe