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Prince Ali: FIFA is in crisis and needs to change

FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali bin al-Hussein has outlined his vision to get the scandal-ridden governing body “back to football”.

Prince Ali will go up against Jerome Champagne, Gianni Infantino, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa and Tokyo Sexwale to be the next FIFA president, with elections set for February 26.

He was defeated in his previous attempt to land FIFA’s top job, losing out to Sepp Blatter last May before the long-serving incumbent announced his intention to step down as arrests of high-ranking officials marred the organisation’s congress in Zurich.

Blatter and UEFA counterpart Michel Platini are now suspended from all football-related activity on account of a £1.3million FIFA payment authorised by Blatter to the former France captain in 2011, which was deemed a breach of conflict of interest regulations by the independent Ethics Committee.

Speaking at a news conference to brief on the main tenants of his prospective presidency, Prince Ali insisted it was time for FIFA to change.

He said: “This is for people who are tired of the old way of doing things. Today I’m presenting a practical plan for implementing my vision.

“It contains concrete steps, no gimmicks, just a realistic road map that will lead FIFA to a better place and will earn the trust of football fans. A place where we will have headlines for football, not for scandal – it is about getting back to football.

“I believe in what FIFA can do and I’m trying to save the organisation and bring it back on track.

There is a call around the world to change the organisation and this is our last chance to get it right. February is the most crucial date in history of governance of the sport.”

Prince Ali’s proposals include restricting presidential reigns to two four-year terms, promoting women’s rights and equality in football and offering full co-operation to the ongoing US and Swiss investigations into football corruption.

“The world is cleaning FIFA up, whether FIFA likes it and FIFA can help with a real culture change,” he added.

“There are so many good people in FIFA but many feel fear, and with good reason. The 209 members know FIFA is in crisis. Will a small group of FIFA members hold FIFA hostage?

“I want to see football run the right way. Less than a year ago many European countries joined with me to change a president.

“With Europe’s help we can finish the job. I’m there to unite the world. In terms of integrity, responsibility and a proven record, I believe I’m the best person to lead FIFA.”

Thu 11 Feb, 2016
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