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Bility sounds FIFA warning, confident over Prince Ali chances

Liberian FA president Musa Bility believes FIFA will collapse if it does not make sustainable and credible changes at this week’s Extraordinary Congress in Zurich.

Delegates from FIFA’s member federations will vote to elect a new president on Friday, while the organisation’s Executive Committee has recommended that they endorse a programme of reforms that aims to restore credibility following a scandal-ridden period for world football’s governing body.

Bility hoped to stand in the election to succeed suspended president Sepp Blatter, but failed an “eligibility test” and failed to overturn the decision in an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“It is a turning point for FIFA, it is a crossroads,” Bility told Omnisport ahead of an election in which he is now backing Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al-Hussein.

“It is from here on that we build a sustainable and a credible institution or we do away with the institution.

“It’s going to either be a stronger FIFA or there will be none. It is make or break.”

Bility explained that his federation’s support for Prince Ali, who fell short in a bid to unseat Blatter last May, was down to his ambitions for lasting FIFA reform.

“If we look at our own agenda and Prince Ali’s agenda, they are very similar – they are bold,” he said.

“He is a pioneer for change in FIFA. When no one in this organisation was prepared to stand up to Blatter and say ‘it’s time to go’, Ali did.

“His reform philosophy, his one-on-one relationship with the people, with the federations, is quite satisfactory.

“His overall desire and ambition is going to be formed around the ambitions of the 209 federations.

“You don’t go and make something from your own idea; he is going to build a FIFA on the ideas of those 209 federations, and the aspirations and wishes of the millions of football fans around the world.”

Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa and Gianni Infantino are the front-runners to replace Blatter in terms of support declared to date, although Bility remains bullish over Prince Ali’s prospects of springing a surprise.

“I’m happy that he doesn’t look like the favourite to the media but we are working with him and we are very happy that we are in that position because I think that we are the favourite,” he added.

“We are working in Africa. I know what my colleagues are saying. Prince Ali is the surprise package of this election and we have 72 hours to prove that.

“First, you know there is going to be a second round [of voting]. Objectively, if you leave Prince Ali with any of the other candidates as the sole candidate to move FIFA forward there is no question.

“We understand in the first round people will vote based on other alliances but in the second round, where we are going to go, it will be different. They are going to vote for FIFA.” 

Wed 24 Feb, 2016
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