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U.S., England support Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein for FIFA presidency

Jerome Champagne is out of the race to become FIFA President after failing to get enough support to be on the ballot paper.

FIFA vice president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein says the United States was among the national associations to nominate him to stand against Sepp Blatter for the top job in world football.

The Jordanian also disclosed he was endorsed by his home federation, Belarus, Malta and Georgia. The English FA had already announced it was backing him.

The vote to decide the presidency will be held at the FIFA Congress in May.

At his campaign launch in London, Prince Ali said: "My nominations are from three different confederations, which I'm very happy with. I know it is going to be a big challenge and we have a lot to do until May 29, but I'm very confident in all our national associations and the presidents of our national associations who want the best for football."

Prince Ali's inability to gain widespread backing beyond his homeland in the Asian Football Confederation highlights the tough task unseating Blatter, who is running for a fifth, four-year term in May.

Michael van Praag of the Netherlands and Portugal great Luis Figo are also vying for the presidency, but Jerome Champagne has confirmed he will not be contesting the presidency after failing to secure the necessary backing.

Champagne had said some FAs had "feared reprisals" if they supported him, and Prince Ali also questioned previous elections and voting within the federation, and said he hopes for a cleaner fight for the presidency this time.

Prince Ali said there is a 'culture of intimidation' within FIFA.

"Obviously there is a culture of intimidation -- let me put it that way -- within FIFA," he said. "In the past, if people take a stand they possibly end up being punished for it. That is why the vote is secret and I hope that if things are played fairly and played rightly that things will go in the appropriate way.

"I believe the incumbent has a natural advantage but I assure our national associations that we are moving in the right direction and I will be the right candidate for them.

"Frankly I have been in football for many years. In the last four years I have understood what is going on. I have worked with our players and our fans and understanding their needs. I want to bring that back to football.

"The owners of the games are the fans and the players and the managers. We need to reverse this pyramid, we are here to serve the game not to dictate how things are done, and we also have to restore confidence and I believe I can do that."

Talking about Blatter specifically, Prince Ali believes the 78-year-old has to hold his hands up for the way FIFA has been run, with clouds still hanging over his previous nominations as president as well as the bidding process that saw Russia and Qatar named as World Cup host nations.

"He has been the president and definitely the president needs to be held responsible for what happens," he said. "If I'm president I will take responsibility for all actions that come out of FIFA. We have also had promises from him that he would not run again but that is not the case and I think that, with full honesty and integrity, he should give a chance to others -- including myself."

Although he has now officially launched his campaign, Prince Ali intends to garner opinions from across all member nations of FIFA before publishing a completed framework for his campaign.

"As you are aware I have a programme that has come out," he said. "But in the coming months I will be visiting national associations around the world to discuss with them what their hopes and ideas are for the future of FIFA.

"After that I will come out with a more detailed manifesto but, as they are the representatives of the world, I must talk to them -- that is my approach to leadership.

"I have been on the Executive Committee for the last four years and I understand what has been going on. And after listening to colleagues who believe it is the time to change, I did this for the sake of football throughout the world.

"I have always tried to reform FIFA as best I can from the inside but I believe the best way to go ahead is to run for the presidency itself."

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