English FA to support Prince Ali's FIFA presidency bid, reports say
The Football Association is to throw its weight behind Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein's campaign for the FIFA presidency, according to Press Association sources and multiple media reports.
FA chairman Greg Dyke has offered the association's backing to the Jordanian prince and to nominate him to stand against Sepp Blatter, PA reported.
Discussions have taken place between FA board members ahead of a meeting on Thursday and the decision has been taken to support Prince Ali, who has led calls for further reforms of the world governing body. This is expected to be formally announced following the board meeting.
Dutch FA president Michael van Praag has also announced that he is to stand for FIFA president but that will not affect the FA's decision. Van Praag, a fierce critic of Blatter's, already has the minimum five nominations in the bag, which he will make public on Wednesday.
The FA board's view, according to PA, is that the more reformist candidates who enter the contest the better, and that they want both Prince Ali and Van Praag confirmed as candidates. Whether both remain candidates when the vote takes place in May or one drops out and backs the other remains a possibility.
In October, Dyke stated his desire to see Blatter come up against another presidential candidate next May, saying: "The FA made it very clear we didn't think he should have stood again. We did think he stood last time on the basis that would be his last term and therefore we needed another candidate."
Dyke has also publicly welcomed the announcement by Prince Ali that he is standing, describing him as a "credible candidate."
Nominations for the presidency close on Thursday night. Of those other figures who have announced they are standing, only French former diplomat Jerome Champagne appears to have any chance of securing five nominations, which means David Ginola's bookmaker-backed campaign will be over almost as soon as it has started.
Meanwhile, Scotland and Wales are both seeking to have representatives on UEFA's executive committee.
SFA president Campbell Ogilvie and Trefor Lloyd-Hughes, president of the Football Association of Wales, have put themselves forward for election at the UEFA Congress in March. Lloyd-Hughes is also standing against England's David Gill for the British FIFA vice-presidency.
SFA chief executive Stewart Regan told PA: "After the best part of 40 years in football we feel Campbell's involvement in Europe and areas such as the Champions League, and his understanding of the game, will add great value at European level."