Jordan’s Prince Ali vows to rid FIFA of corruption

Friday 02/10/2015
Prince Ali: \'We must now come together and work to restore FIFA’s credibility\'

AMMAN - Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al- Hussein pledged to lift the cloud of corruption scandals hanging over FIFA, which he said had shaken football’s world governing body “to its very core” and “decimated our govern­ing body”.
Though he did not mention FIFA President Sepp Blatter, Prince Ali’s remarks came hard on the heels of Swiss investigators announcing that Blatter was the subject of a criminal investigation into corruption in the world’s biggest sport. Swiss inves­tigators have questioned Blatter on suspicion of “criminal mismanage­ment” pertaining to an alleged $2 million payment in 2011 to Europe­an football’s UEFA President Michel Platini for work at least nine years earlier.
Both Blatter and Platini have de­nied any wrongdoing and the FIFA president has insisted he will stay on in the post he has held since 1998 until elections in February 2016.
Ali, a former FIFA vice-president, challenged Blatter in an election in May after previous FIFA corruption reports. Blatter won a fifth term in the vote but, due to an investiga­tion, announced four days later that he would step down after a new FIFA election in late February 2016.
Ali, Platini and South Korean ty­coon Chung Mong-joon, also a for­mer FIFA vice-president, are the leading candidates to succeed Blat­ter.
“Change, as I have always said, is a process. It’s not an event,” said Ali, the younger half-brother of Jordan’s King Abdullah II.
“We have an opportunity in Feb­ruary to carry that momentum for­ward,” the prince said. “We must now come together and work to restore FIFA’s credibility and repu­tation by bringing about the change that is so clearly needed.”
Ali said with the developments at the world’s football organisation, the “need for new leadership that can restore the credibility of FIFA has never been more apparent”.
“We cannot change the past but we can have a future where FIFA member associations are able to fo­cus on football rather than worrying about the next scandal or criminal investigation involving FIFA leader­ship,” Ali said in a statement.
“I have heard from many member associations over the last 24 hours, and what I have heard gives me con­fidence that, working together, we can emerge from this stronger.”