FePrince Ali bin Al-Hussein has announced he will once again run for the FIFA presidency, this time not against Sepp Blatter, but against a growing field of those wishing to succeed the man about to step down.
The Jordinian prince stated his anticipated candidacy Wednesday at an invitation-only event in an amphitheater in Amman, officially joining the likes of Michel Platini, Chung Mong-joon, Segun Odegbami, Orji Uzor Kalu, Musa Bility, David Nakhid, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, and a handful of others from around the world still yet to announce an official attempt at the position but widely expected to do so.
All seeking candidacy must secure the nominations of five member associations, something that will likely whittle the pool down further. Odegbami and Kalu, for example, are both from Nigeria and would likely be competing just for five nominations from Africa.
Platini, current UEFA president, seems the frontrunner for the time being, but the politics of the February 26 election are quite interesting. Africa is the most populous region with 54 member countries, and the continent has long resented Europe for appearing to run away with the world game, leaving continents like Africa and Asia in the dust. Blatter found strength in Africa, and Prince Ali could do the same by bitterly opposing Platini.
The 39-year-old did just that at his announcement event, seeming to call out Platini while not mentioning him by name.
“I was the only person who dared to challenge Mr. Blatter for the presidency of FIFA,” Prince Ali said. “And I had the courage to fight for change when others were afraid. I conceded that election. Not because I was not the best candidate, but because others were using me to make room for themselves. They didn’t have the guts to run, but I did.” Let me be clear, I want to finish what we started.”
Others seeking nomination include 53-year-old Russian official Ilyumzhinov, the former head of the World Chess Federation who once claimed to have been abducted by aliens; and Mong-joon, son of the founder of Hyundai and former South Korean soccer association president.