Prince Ali will challenge Sepp Blatter for FIFA presidency

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Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, FIFA’s vice-president, is running against Sepp Blatter to take charge of world soccer’s governing body.

38-year-old Prince Ali of Jordan will aim to be voted in as the new FIFA president when the presidential elections are held in Zurich on May 29, as Blatter aims to secure a fifth-straight mandate at the age of 79.

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With allegations of corruption and bribery riddling FIFA over recent years when it comes to World Cup bids and many other issues, Blatter has bore the brunt of criticism from soccer fans and officials across the globe and many feel as if he should have been ousted as the head of FIFA many years ago. Plenty have tried, but nobody has been able to do that. Yet.

In a statement Prince Ali had the following to say as he did not mention Blatter, but did confirm his intentions to run for president.

“This was not an easy decision,” Ali said. “It came after careful consideration and many discussions with respected FIFA colleagues over the last few months. The message I heard, over and over, was that it is time for a change. The world game deserves a world-class governing body – an international federation that is a service organisation and a model of ethics, transparency and good governance.”

Blatter has been in charge of FIFA since 1998 but his 17-year reign could be coming to a close. Candidates wishing to take over the FIFA presidency have until Jan. 29 to declare their interest, as Blatter’s long-time ally Jerome Champagne of France may also challenge Prince Ali for the throne atop world soccer’s top table.

This is going to be very interesting, as the Jordanian Prince who was educated in the United States and the United Kingdom joined the FIFA executive committee in 2011 and has helped soccer thrive in Asia. He is the founder and President of the West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) and he will likely get plenty of support from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to oust Blatter, while President of UEFA Michel Platini has also backed Ali in the past.

Ali is standing up for what he, and many others around the world believe in, at FIFA: Change.