US Soccer (USSF) president Sunil Gulati revealed on Thursday that the country’s governing body will back presidential candidate Prince Ali bin Al Hussein in the wake of the FIFA crisis.
FIFA has been rocked after nine of its officials were among 14 individuals indicted on charges of racketeering, conspiracy and corruption on Wednesday.
Many have called for Blatter’s resignation amid the turmoil sweeping through world football’s governing body, with UEFA president Michel Platini leading the charge ahead of Friday’s election, while Football Federation Australia (FFA) and the Canadian Soccer Association also plan to abandon the long-serving Swiss.
And US Soccer will follow suit after Gulati – also a FIFA executive committee member – confirmed the USA will vote against Blatter, in favour of Prince Ali.
“We like many of the things he stands for and has done,” Gulati told the New York Times.
“Being on the wrong side of an election result – if that’s what happens – is not necessarily being on the wrong side. If you are serious about change, you have to be willing to push for it.”
The USA’s stance could jeopardise the country’s hopes of hosting a World Cup in the future, should Blatter be re-elected for a fifth term, but Gulati is willing to make a sacrifice for the greater good.
“Would I like to see the United States host a World Cup in the future?” Gulati said. “The answer is, of course, yes. But for me, and for US Soccer, better governance and more integrity at CONCACAF and FIFA are far more important than hosting any international soccer tournament.
“I’m sure there are some people who would disagree with that decision and would prioritise things differently. But this is how we feel, and we are doing what we think is right.
“If being on the right side of issues costs us from hosting a World Cup in the future, that would be unfortunate. But we are prepared to deal with that.”
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