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Prince Ali condemns tactics of Fifa rivals

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Prince Ali of Jordan at the Geneva Press Club on Thursday. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
15:35 CET+01:00
Fifa presidential candidate Prince Ali bin al Hussein in Geneva condemned the tactics of his main election rivals on Thursday, raising ethical questions about their efforts to secure block support from regional football confederations.

The Jordanian royal, also a former Fifa vice president, is seen as an underdog in the February 26th poll to lead world football, with Uefa boss Gianni Infantino and Asian confederation chief Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa considered the front-runners.


Both Infantino and Sheikh Salman have been endorsed by the executive committees of major continental football confederations.

But Prince Ali stressed that the election will be decided by the individual votes of the 209-member national associations, not by a handful of executives.

"I am not a candidate who tries to use a couple of executive committees or confederations to push voters in a certain way," Prince Ali told reporters in Geneva.

"That is what differentiates me from other candidates . . . if other candidates do choose to work on regions and try to divide up the world, then, yes, I think that is wrong," he added.

Unlike other contestants in the race to replace Sepp Blatter as Fifa's president, Prince Ali has been vocal in his criticism of the election process, suggesting that the ethics issues which have plagued Fifa for years have surfaced in the campaign.

His criticism of executive committee endorsements was almost certainly directed at Infantino - who has the backing of senior executives in the European and Latin American confederations - and Sheikh Salman, endorsed by the top committees in the Asian and African confederations.

"There is a lot of confusion in terms of the process of elections," Prince Ali said, stressing that using a regional organization like Uefa was against Fifa's own election rules.

"Nobody is allowed to use their organization for election purposes," Prince Ali said.

"That was clear."

Separately, he laid out his plans for his first year on the job, highlighted by his pledge to release former US prosecutor Michael Garcia's report on alleged bribery and corruption during bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Fifa has not yet released the 2014 report, citing procedural delays.

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Garcia resigned in protest, claiming the report was suppressed.

Swiss prosecutors have since launched their own probe in the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, won by Russia and Qatar respectively. 

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