Prince Ali hints he will stand for FIFA presidency again
Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, beaten in May`s FIFA presidential election by Sepp Blatter, strongly hinted he will stand for the position again while speaking to delegates at the Soccerex business convention on Monday.
Manchester, England: Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, beaten in May`s FIFA presidential election by Sepp Blatter, strongly hinted he will stand for the position again while speaking to delegates at the Soccerex business convention on Monday.
Ali, 39, lost by 133-73 votes to incumbent Blatter who then announced he was standing down from the position four days later after FIFA was plunged into its worst crisis following arrests of its officials and others two days before the election.
A fresh presidential election to find a successor to Blatter will be held in February and Ali looks set to become the third major candidate to enter after declarations from UEFA President Michel Platini of France and former FIFA executive committee member and Asian vice-president Chung Mong-joon of South Korea.
Asked by moderator David Davies if he was a candidate for the presidency of FIFA again, Ali replied: "I am talking to national associations, listening to their opinions and what they see for the future and giving my own ideas.
"Right now we need a candidate who is forward thinking and will bring new ideas who is not tainted by the past as well. So what I will say right now is `stay tuned`"
Davies asked: "Do I need to stay tuned this week, or for a month?"
Ali replied with a broad smile: "Not for very long."
He then expanded on his theme throughout a relaxed 30 minute interview when he stressed time and again the need for a new, transparent FIFA, open to change and widespread reform.
And he said that neither Platini, who supported him in May`s election, or Chung, who lost his executive committee seat as Asian vice-president when Ali beat him in an election in 2011, were ideal future candidates for the FIFA presidency.
"I have tremendous respect for Mr Platini both as the UEFA president and a former footballer but at the same time there is a difference between UEFA and FIFA," he continued.
"FIFA is in a crisis and we need a new beginning, and whether anyone likes it or not, Michel Platini`s introduction into football governance was as a protege of Sepp Blatter. That`s the reality.
"I have sat down and talked with him, I have listened to his ideas and I think it`s my responsibility to at least guarantee the future is different from the past and therefore I was not very encouraged by Michel Platini."
He was equally dismissive of Chung, who spent 17 years on the FIFA executive committee before losing his seat to Ali four years ago.
"The important thing is to have a new beginning," said Ali, "and to have new ideas and therefore any candidate who has been in the organisation for a long time is not what is needed at this time."
Ali confounded many observers by forcing a second round of voting in May`s election by denying Blatter an outright two-thirds winning margin in the first round.
He then conceded defeat before a second ballot took place, but again implied he was considering another bid for the presidency when Davies asked him if he could win the election without the formal, central backing of his own Asian confederation, whose leadership is backing Platini.
"It is a while till we get to the vote in February, but we will see. If the elections are done correctly, cleanly and properly, without interference, then I believe I can win, for sure."
With the vote taking place on Feb. 26, candidates with nominations from five national associations, have to officially register their declarations by Oct. 26.