Fifa election: Prince Ali wants 10-year programme of reform

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Prince Ali of Jordan: The man taking on Sepp Blatter

Fifa presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein says if elected he wants to implement a 10-year programme to reform football's governing body.

Ali, 39, and Jerome Champagne will challenge incumbent Sepp Blatter, who took over in 1998 and is seeking a fifth term, in May's elections.

Jordanian Prince Ali said Fifa "tends to be secretive" so transparency and reform "is crucial".

He added: "If elected, we will roll up our sleeves and deliver our programme."

Prince Ali, a Fifa vice-president and the president of Jordanian football since 1999, revealed his intention to stand on Monday, after receiving encouragement to do so from colleagues.

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 has suffered a number of corruption allegations during Blatter's 17-year reign - and Prince Ali wants to clean up the image of football's governing body.

"I believe we should be totally transparent," said Prince Ali. "I will look to a 10-year programme for the organisation, where everyone is a part of it and ourselves as the executive committee will implement it.

"In the coming months, I will be looking to sit down and talk to all our member associations and listen to them.

"I'm not coming in to dictate. I have my ideas and progress I want to implement, but I have to hear back from my colleagues."

Who is Prince Ali?
The son of the late King Hussein and the late Queen Alia, who died in a helicopter crash in 1977, he attended Sandhurst military academy in the UK before joining his country's armed forces. He is the brother-in-law of leading racehorse owner Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai. Prince Ali successfully championed the lifting of Fifa's ban on the hijab in women's football.

Ali, also head of the West Asian Football Federation, was one of a number of officials who called for the publication of ethics investigator Michael Garcia's report into allegations of corruption surrounding the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids.

"Reform is crucial," added Prince Ali. "I was the first to ask for the Garcia report to come out. We should have nothing to hide.

"Fifa as an organisation tends to be a bit secretive, but we should be confident and happy to be open and engaged with everyone.

"I don't see a reason to be guarded. We have to bring the administration of sport into the current time we live in. I want to bring back that confidence."

Fifa's long-serving presidents
Sepp Blatter is the third-longest serving president in Fifa's history having taken office in 1998. Jules Rimet, with 33 years from 1921, kept the role for longer than anyone else, with Brazilian Joao Havelange's 24-year stint next on the list.

Prince Ali said that the role is "not something I want to do long term" but added: "A lot things can happen and I'm confident we can [introduce the changes] in quick time."

On Friday, Fifa presidential candidate Champagne - who is the only other person to have announced his attention to challenge Blatter - said he may not have enough support to contest May's election.

A candidate needs to secure five nominations from Fifa's 209 members to take part in the election on 29 May.

Meanwhile, Concacaf (the football federation for North America, Central American and the Caribbean) president Jeffrey Webb said he has been asked to run as a candidate, but appeared to rule out the possibility of standing in the election this time around.

"I have been asked [about running for the Fifa presidency], but as I said my immediate focus is with Concacaf and my work continues there," said Fifa vice-president Webb.

"Who knows what lies in the future, but right now my focus and firm commitment is with being the president of Concacaf."

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