Fifa Presidency: Blatter to be Challenged


Fifa vice-president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein has announced he will be running against Sepp Blatter for the leadership of the governing body of football.  The election is due to be held on 29th May where Blatter, 78, will be seeking his fifth term in the office.

The Jordanian Prince, 39, said he would stand with the aim of shifting the focus of the organisation away from administrative controversy and back to the sport.  He added that headlines should be about football, not about Fifa.

Time for change

Prince Ali took over as the head of the Jordanian football federation in 1999 before being elected as the Asian Football Confederation’s Fifa Vice-President in 2011.  Among his credits, he had successfully championed the ban on the hijab in women’s football and was one of the officials who called for the publication of the report into allegations of corruption by Michael Garcia concerning the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

He said that he had been urged by colleagues to stand with the message being it was time for change.  He added that the game deserved a world-class governing body that was a model of ethics, transparency and good governance, an international federation that was a service organisation.

In his opinion, Fifa exists to serve football, which unites billions of people from around the world, people from different divergent political, religious and social background, to enjoy the ‘world’s game’.


UEFA president Michel Platini is said to be pleased that Prince Ali is standing against Sepp Blatter and will be campaigning on his behalf with the European contingent.

Expert opinion is that the Prince must stand a good chance of winning to have taken a chance on running, as he would not ‘stake his reputation on a flier’.  However, others have tried to overthrow Blatter since his election in 1998 and failed.

Former diplomat Jerome Champagne, 56, is the other person to have so far announced his attention to run in the race.  He joined Fifa in 1999.  Candidates wishing to run in the election have to declare their interest before 29th January.


The latest controversy surrounding Fifa saw ethic investigator Michael Garcia resign last month to protest against the handling of his report into the bidding for the World Cups of 2018 and 2022 in Russia and Qatar respectively.

He was unhappy that respite what the report said, Fifa cleared both bidding teams of corruptions and that confirmed the tournaments would still be held in those countries.  Many in the game have criticised the handling of the affair, with former England captain Gary Lineker describing the governing body as ‘a farce’.

There are also reports that Fifa have held secret talks with Blatter over his place as the leader of the governing body, a role he had held since 1998.


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