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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan to run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

FIFA vice-president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan has confirmed he will stand for the presidency of the world governing body against incumbent Sepp Blatter.

The election, which will also see Frenchman Jerome Champagne attempt to stop Blatter winning a fifth consecutive term, will take place at the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich on May 29.

"I am seeking the presidency of FIFA because I believe it is time to shift the focus away from administrative controversy and back to sport," Prince Ali, a member of the FIFA executive committee and the head of the Jordan Football Association, told www.jfa.com.

"This was not an easy decision. It came after careful consideration and many discussions with respected FIFA colleagues over the last few months. The message I heard, over and over, was that it is time for a change.

The 39-year-old, the son of the late King Hussein of Jordan and a graduate of England's Sandhurst Military Academy, added: "The world's game deserves a world-class governing body -- an international federation that is a service organisation and a model of ethics, transparency and good governance."

Blatter, who has been president since 1998, ran unopposed when he was last re-elected in 2011.

FIFA has been engulfed in controversy in recent months related to the decisions to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.

Former U.S. attorney Michael Garcia produced a 430-page report into the bidding for the tournaments before quitting as FIFA's ethics investigator after he felt that Hans-Joachim Eckert, chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee, misrepresented his findings in a 42-page summary.

The executive committee agreed unanimously in December that an "appropriate" form of the Garcia report into World Cup bidding should be published.

Officials at a meeting in Morocco agreed to the proposal without a vote being taken. But nothing will be published until the ethics committee deals with charges against three FIFA ExCo members -- Angel Villar Llona of Spain, Belgium's Michel D'Hooghe and Thailand's Worawi Makudi.

Blatter had said before re-election in 2011 that his current term would be his last, but has since changed his mind.

"The headlines should be about football, not about FIFA," Prince Ali added.

"FIFA exists to serve a sport which unites billions of people from all over the world, people of differing and divergent political, religious and social affiliations, who come together in their enjoyment of 'the world's game'."

Prince Ali has served as president of the Jordan Football Association since 1999. One year later he founded the West Asian Football Federation, which consists of 13 members.

Champagne is a former FIFA deputy secretary general and is the only other candidate for the top job.

An ally of UEFA boss Michel Platini, Prince Ali will look to draw on support from Europe and parts of the Asian Football Confederation.

However, he is far from certain to get a majority of support from his own confederation, the Asian Football Confederation led by Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain. Sheikh Salman, AFC President since 2013, is a strong supporter of Blatter.

Nominations have to be made before Jan. 31.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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