New Zealand Will Vote Against Blatter in FIFA President Election

New Zealand Football said it will support Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein in the FIFA presidential election at the world governing body’s annual congress in Zurich.

“Given the developments in the past 48 hours –- which have been deeply distressing for all of us who love football –- New Zealand Football believes substantive change is now essential within FIFA as soon as possible to repair its tarnished reputation,” President Mark Aspden said in a statement. “The executive committee believes that real change can only be implemented with a new president in place.”

Support for Sepp Blatter extending his 17-year hold over global soccer is weakening in the final hours before his re-election bid later Friday. New Zealand joins the U.S., Canada and Europe in voicing support for his only rival, Prince Ali, as pressure grows following criminal probes on two continents into soccer’s governing body. Blatter has received the backing of confederations in Asia and Africa.