Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, FIFA's current vice president, said Tuesday that he would run for the presidency of world soccer's governing body later this year.
Prince Ali, who also heads Jordan's apex soccer body and the West Asian Football Federation, said that he had been encouraged by European football governing body UEFA and its president, French soccer star Michel Platini, to contest the FIFA presidential election on May 29 in Zurich to oust Sepp Blatter, the Associated Press (AP) reported, adding that a possible third candidate could be Jerome Champagne of France, a former FIFA staffer and longtime ally of Blatter.
“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,” Prince Ali said in a statement, obtained by Reuters. “The message I heard, over and over, was that it is time for a change.”
During Blatter's 17-year reign, the federation has been rocked by several scams, including bribery allegations in presidential elections and World Cup biddings, and controversies related to World Cup tickets, AP reported. Blatter joined FIFA in 1975 and became its president in 1998.
“The world’s game deserves a world-class governing body -- an International Federation that is a service organization and a model of ethics, transparency and good governance,” Prince Ali, who joined FIFA in June 2011, said in the statement.
According to AP, FIFA member federations, which vote for the president in a secret ballot, also want to remove Blatter from the top job. Although it is still unclear which of the FIFA members will nominate Prince Ali for the presidency, the 39-year-old is expected to get support from much of Europe and parts of the Asian Football Confederation, AP reported.