Presidential candidate Prince Ali bin al-Hussein insists he wants Friday’s FIFA election to go ahead, but only if there is transparency in the voting process.
Prince Ali – one of five candidates to replace Sepp Blatter – has asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to suspend this week’s election after his request for transparent voting booths to be used at the congress in Zurich was rejected.
CAS is expected to make a decision on Thursday – a day before voting takes place.
With uncertainty surrounding arguably the biggest day in the history of world football’s governing body, a concerned Prince Ali – who also wants “independent scrutineers” present during the congress to prevent any chance of delegates being placed under pressure to vote for certain candidates – explained his actions.
In a letter sent to fellow presidents, Prince Ali said: “The FIFA Presidential election should go ahead as planned but only if it is free, fair and honest.
“Nearly two weeks ago, on February 11th, I wrote to the FIFA Ad Hoc Electoral Committee concerned about reports that voters would again be under pressure to photograph their ballots to prove that they voted as directed, as happened in the last election.
“I offered a solution to provide transparent voting booths. FIFA agreed that the integrity of the election could be compromised but rejected the use of transparent voting booths. FIFA’s alternative plan is to tell delegates to leave their mobile phones outside the voting booths. This proposal is unenforceable and without sanction.
“On February 22nd, I appealed to CAS and requested an expedited hearing to resolve the matter before Friday’s election. FIFA blocked an expedited hearing.
“I want this election to occur as soon as possible, but not at the risk of undermining its integrity. The transparent voting booths are now in Zurich and available for use in Friday’s election.
“The eyes of the world are on this election. Everything must be done to ensure that its integrity is intact.”
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