Sepp Blatter’s only challenger Prince Ali bin Al Hussein declines to comment on his chances three days before FIFA presidential election
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND (MAY 26) (REUTERS) – FIFA presidential candidate, Jordanian Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, was unwilling to talk about the upcoming election after he left a CONCACAF meeting on Tuesday (May 26).
Prince Ali is now the only rival to incumbent president Sepp Blatter following the withdrawal of several candidates, including the former Portugal, Barcelona and Real Madrid winger Luis Figo.
The CONCACAF meeting in Zurich was taking place three days before the 65th FIFA Congress on Friday May 29), which will see a new president being elected.
Prince Ali is the only rival to Blatter who is seeking his fifth term in office.
“I will talk later on to all of you, right now, right now I am quite busy, thank you,” said the prince as he left the meeting.
Under Blatter’s watch, FIFA’s credibility has taken a battering. There has been a wave of scandals and controversy, ranging from allegations of corruption in the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process to a row over $25,000 watches gifted to executive committee members at last year’s the World Cup in Brazil.
Since 2010, eight members of FIFA’s executive committee have been banned for various lengths of time for corruption, or have resigned while under investigation.
Blatter has overseen some reforms but many critics say they do not go far enough and that, even though he has never been found guilty of any wrongdoing, it would be difficult to convince people that FIFA has changed while he is still in power.
Financially stable and with a hugely successful 2014 World Cup behind it, FIFA appears on the surface to be in good shape and, with Blatter enjoying huge support in Asia, African and Latin America, able to withstand despite all the scandals.
But it, and the sport it governs, cannot afford to continue losing credibility.