HRH Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan has announced that he will stand for the presidency of FIFA, in a bid that could bring Sepp Blatter’s 17 year reign to an end.
“This was not an easy decision,” Prince Ali said in a statement.
“It came after careful consideration and many discussions with respected FIFA colleagues over the last few months.”
His decision comes soon after the culmination of FIFA’s investigations into allegations of corruption in its bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which failed to identify any culpable wrongdoing and led to the resignation of Michael Garcia, the lawyer hired by FIFA to investigate the allegations.
Prince Ali has pledged to run a positive campaign and to steer FIFA away from the controversies of recent years. “The message I heard, over and over, was that it is time for a change.
“It is time to shift the focus away from administrative controversy and back to sport.”
Prince Ali became vice president of FIFA in 2011. He is also president of the Jordan Football Association and the West Asia Football Federation, which he founded in 2001.
If elected, Prince Ali would be the first FIFA president from the Asia region and only the second from outside Europe, after Brazil’s Joao Havelange.
At just 39 years old, Prince Ali is a contrasting candidate to FIFA’s 79 year old candidate Sepp Blatter, who announced in September 2014 that he would run for a fifth term.
At Soccerex Global Convention in September, Prince Ali spoke out in favour of time limits for presidential terms
Blatter is a formidable opponent who has weathered many a storm without any apparent loss to his power or personal reputation.
The only other candidate in the race is Jerome Champagne of France, who also announced he would stand in September 2014.
The deadline for presidential candidates to come forward is the 29th January. All candidates must be nominated by five FIFA members, of which there are 209.
The election takes place by secret ballot on May 29th.