Prince Ali bin Al Hussein believes he will win next year’s FIFA presidential election if the ballot is carried out properly.
Having lost to outgoing suspended president Sepp Blatter in May’s vote, Prince Ali is standing again in February’s election after Blatter laid down his mandate on June 2, just six days after nine FIFA officials were indicted on charges of racketeering conspiracy and corruption.
Blatter has since been handed a provisional 90-day ban from all football-related activities by FIFA’s ethics committee.
His suspension came after a criminal investigation was opened into allegations he sold a World Cup TV rights contract to former FIFA official Jack Warner in a deal that was unfavourable for FIFA and that the 79-year-old made a disloyal payment of two million Swiss francs to Michel Platini, who – along with general secretary Jerome Valcke – was also given a provisional ban following the corruption claims.
Earlier this week the United States Department of Justice announced the indictment of a further 16 officials, while attorney general Loretta Lynch revealed eight individuals linked to FIFA had pleaded guilty to charges.
Prince Ali will is set to contest the election against Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa, Jerome Champagne, Tokyo Sexwale and Gianni Infantino.
And, speaking at a National Press Club lunch in Washington DC, Prince Ali said: “I am running for the FIFA presidency because I believe that football deserves a governing body that is worthy of the game, I’m running because I want to see the day when the questions for a FIFA presidential candidate at a national press conference club luncheon are about football and not about controversies.
“The main meeting room for the executive committee is three stories underground, grey and with no natural light. That setting was symptomatic of FIFA’s entire approach to governance and its outlook. I want to work with member associations to build a structure and a culture at FIFA that is outward looking and operates in accordance with practices that fit with the 21st century.
“As a first step, we need to adopt principles of good governance and transparency in actions and not just in words.
“I will immediately take steps to publish the minutes of executive committee meetings, making sure they are accurate and institute proper disclosure of financial information, I will also make public the full findings of the Garcia report [into corruption in football].
“These steps cannot be called reform, nor be seen as an achievement, they are the most basic set of acceptable norms of good governance today.
“At the end of the day I believe that if things are done correctly and each national association has the right, without pressure, to make their own decisions, then I think I will be the candidate who wins this election.”
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