Fifa election: Asian Confederation backs Sepp Blatter over Prince Ali

Prince Ali of Jordan: The man taking on Sepp Blatter

The Asian Football Confederation will support incumbent Sepp Blatter in the Fifa presidential election despite their vice-president Prince Ali's decision to stand as a candidate.

Jordanian Prince Ali, 39, joined Jerome Champagne as a rival to Blatter, 78, who is seeking a fifth term of office.

AFC general secretary Dato Alex Soosay told BBC Sport its members had agreed to back Blatter at their 2014 congress.

"And I think that sentiment still remains," he added.

"But I'm not here to stop anyone from having their own rights. The election is independent and democratic."

Fifa's long-serving men
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.

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

Former Football Association chairman David Bernstein, Uefa president Michel Platini and current FA chairman Greg Dyke have welcomed Prince Ali's decision to stand in the election, which takes place on 29 May.

Soosay added: "We made a pledge in congress in Brazil that the entire Asian football family was supporting the Fifa president.

"As Asia we should also stay together and be united rather than divided.

"For us the Asian Cup is paramount and I'm sure the member associations don't want to be affected by this situation. We just want to focus on football."

The Asian Cup starts on 9 January. external-link