ZURICH: As a former wrestler and army officer, Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Hussein is the figure bidding to pry control of football’s governing-body FIFA from current president Sepp Blatter on Friday.
The son of the late King Hussein of Jordan only turns 40 in December, but he is the only candidate opposing Blatter in the presidential election at FIFA’s 65th congress in Zurich.
Several of FIFA’s 209 member associations have said they will vote for the prince, who is expected to get plenty of European support.
But it may not be enough to wrestle power from the 79-year-old Blatter, who can rely on strong support from African, Latin American and Asian federations.
Prince Ali has been vice president of FIFA in Asia since 2011 and says Blatter must be denied a fifth term in charge.”We cannot continue with the crisis in FIFA,” said the prince in a statement after seven top officials were arrested as part of a US investigation into corruption within FIFA on Wednesday.
“FIFA needs leadership that governs, guides and protects our national associations.
“Leadership that accepts responsibility for its actions and does not pass blame. Leadership that restores confidence in the hundreds of millions of football fans around the world.”
With FIFA facing one of the biggest crises of its 111-year history, the US and British-educated army officer is seen as a potential breath of fresh air in FIFA’s corridors of power.