FIFA Challenger Ali Tells Police About Offer of Blatter DataBy
Presidential candidate Prince Ali running against Blatter
Ali hired investigators to protect run for FIFA Presidency
In April Prince Ali’s campaign got an unsolicited e-mail from someone claiming to be able to deliver 47 votes at the May 29 election and “what appeared to be illegally obtained information relating to the financial activities of Mr. Sepp Blatter,” according to an e-mailed statement from Quest, a U.K.-based investigations agency working for Ali, the 39-year-old brother of Jordan’s King Abdullah.
Blatter, 79, is running for a fifth term. Prince Ali is the only one of the three original challengers remaining after Dutch soccer head Michael van Praag and former Real Madrid star Luis Figo dropped out and backed him. Previous FIFA elections have brought accusations of dirty tricks.
Blatter secured his fourth term in 2011 after his only challenger dropped out after being accused of bribing voters in the Caribbean.
Although FIFA revenues have jumped since Blatter took office, his leadership has been marked by scandal including allegations of corruption in voting on the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar.
“These unethical and seemingly illegal offers are indicative of the current aura of corruption that continues to tarnish FIFA’s reputation,” Quest said in the statement, citing a a senior member of Ali’s campaign team. Singapore-based The New Paper and Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, revealed details of a separate attempt to elicit cash from Ali and Michael van Praag, who last week dropped out of the presidential race, for sensitive information.
Blatter has been at FIFA for 40 years. The organization has rejected requests to publish details of his salary. FIFA hasn’t been informed of the matter, the organization said in an e-mailed statement.
Quest, led by former Scotland Yard head Lord Stevens, has been working with Ali since January, before he officially announced his intention to stand for election. Quest was hired “to ensure the highest levels of integrity and ethical standards throughout his campaign for the presidency of FIFA,” the statement said.
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