Fifa presidency: David Bernstein backs Prince Ali bid

Media playback is not supported on this device

Prince Ali of Jordan: The man taking on Sepp Blatter

Former FA chairman David Bernstein has backed Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein's bid to challenge Sepp Blatter for the Fifa presidency.

The Jordanian Prince, 39, will stand as a candidate at Fifa's presidential election on 29 May, where Blatter, 78, will seek a fifth term of office.

Bernstein worked with Prince Ali on Fifa's committee for fair play and social responsibility.

"Fifa needs a change and I think Prince Ali could do it," said Bernstein.

Football's world governing body has suffered a number of corruption allegations during Blatter's 17-year reign.

The past four Fifa presidential elections
2011: Blatter was unopposed because his rival Mohamed Bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Federation, pulled out after being suspended over bribery allegations
2007: No other candidate was put forward to challenge Blatter
2002: Blatter saw off the challenge of Issa Hayatou, president of the African confederation Caf
1998: The Swiss succeeded Joao Havelange and won a bitter election against former Uefa president Lennart Johansson

Fifa vice-president Prince Ali announced his decision to stand on Tuesday after saying he had been encouraged to do so by colleagues.

Bernstein added: "I know Prince Ali fairly well, he's a very impressive person and I think he's a decent person. He'll make a very interesting challenge to Blatter.

"Fifa needs a major shake-up, it has lost its credibility and there's all sorts of issues.

"There has been quite a bit of change within the Fifa set-up already, but without a change at the top I don't think we will see real reform."

Analysis: BBC Sport's Mani Djazmi
"Prince Ali is very much the favoured candidate of Uefa, the European governing body, which does not want the incumbent Sepp Blatter to run again. He will know that he has got a chance. We're talking about a royal Arab prince who would not stake his reputation on a flier. But Blatter has been Fifa president since 1998. Others have tried to overcome him but they have failed."

Former diplomat Jerome Champagne, 56, who joined Fifa in 1999, is the only other challenger to have confirmed his intention to run for the presidency.

However, Bernstein says there needs to be just one candidate running against Blatter.

"If there are two people competing and splitting the vote, that will do no good at all," said Bernstein.

"Blatter is a very shrewd operator, he gets a lot of support and he plays the game well.

"I think it will be difficult to beat him but I am pleased someone is having a go."

When asked if he felt Blatter would still be in charge after the elections, Bernstein said: "Yes."

Uefa president Michel Platini said: "I know Prince Ali well. He has all the credibility required to hold high office. We now await his proposals and his programme for the future of football."

FA chairman Greg Dyke added: "I welcome Prince Ali's decision to stand. It is very important that there is a credible candidate standing against Mr Blatter and Prince Ali is certainly that."

Top Stories