Jordan’s Ali Says He Will Challenge Blatter for FIFA Presidency

Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, vice president of soccer’s governing body FIFA, said he will run against Sepp Blatter for the organization’s top job.

“This wasn’t an easy decision,” Ali said on Twitter. “It came after careful consideration & many discussions with respected FIFA colleagues over the last few months.”

Blatter, 78, is seeking a fifth term as president. He ran unopposed in the last election after the only other candidate, Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar, withdrew following accusations of trying to bribe voters.

The Swiss official said the term would be his last and he would rebuild FIFA amid mounting criticism from fans and European soccer officials. Three years later with FIFA still mired in crisis, Blatter backtracked, saying he would go on.

Ali, 39, said he wanted to have the world focus on the growth of soccer, not questions about FIFA. He’s been on FIFA’s executive board since 2011.

“The world’s game deserves a world-class governing body —- a service organisation and a model of ethics, transparency and good governance,” Ali wrote. “The headlines should be about football, the beautiful sport, not about FIFA.”

The only other declared candidate is former FIFA official Jerome Champagne.

Ali became vice president in 2011, replacing Chung Mong-Joon on the FIFA Executive Committee, ending the South Korean’s 16-year stay on the 24-member decision making panel. Ali won the vote 25-20 to claim one of FIFA’s eight vice presidencies at the Asian Football Confederation’s Congress in Doha, Qatar.

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