In exciting developments, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, current vice-president of FIFA, has announced he will be running against current president Sepp Blatter and Jerome Champagne for the top FIFA job.
In a move to avoid the farcical previous election (which involved Blatter’s only challenger, Mohamed Bin Hammam, being banned from football for corruption, several non-votes and allegations of conspiracy and bribery) the election sees three candidates running. It is not expected that anyone else will announce themselves as running for FIFA presidency between now and the deadline on January 29th. The election is itself is on May 29th.
Blatter has been in charge of FIFA for four terms since 1998 and, despite being widely criticised across the globe, remains intent on clinging onto his seat at the head of the table. Prince Ali appears to have noticed this criticism and has been reported as saying “the message I heard was that it is time for change” and “it is time to shift the focus away from administrative controversy and back to sport”.
Prince Ali is expected to do well in the election and was encouraged to stand for the position by colleagues. He holds favour with many in the UEFA constituency. The former Asian Football Confederation vice-president has been an advocate for change in football and appears to be a breath of fresh air in a stale group leading football’s governing body. He was the leader in a movement that saw the ban on hijabs in women’s football lifted and he was also one of the officials that called for the Garcia report, which looked into corruption and bribery in FIFA.
The Jordanian prince is only 39 and could be a long-term successor to Blatter, should he be successful in the election and, following that, his term as president of FIFA.
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