Jordanian prince to run for Fifa presidency

Fifa vice-president Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan said on Tuesday he would stand against Swiss incumbent Sepp Blatter for the presidency of world football's Zurich-based governing body later this year.

Jordanian prince to run for Fifa presidency
Prince Ali. Photo: AFP

"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 said on his official Twitter feed.

"This wasn't an easy decision," he said.

"It came after careful consideration and many discussions with respected FIFA colleagues over the last few months."

Fifa has been embroiled in controversy over the awarding of Qatar and Russia World Cup tournaments.

Last month, Fifa's top corruption investigator Michael Garcia, a US lawyer, quit over the handling of his inquiry into the bids.

And Blatter has come under fire from some quarters for seeking a fifth mandate as president, a position he has held since 1998.

But the Swiss has managed to ride out the storm with support from many of the organization's representatives.

"The world’s game deserves a world-class governing body — a service organization and a model of ethics, transparency and good governance," Prince Ali said.

The election for Fifa's president is set for May 29th in Zurich.

Candidates have until January 29th to declare themselves.

Jérôme Champagne, Fifa's former deputy secretary-general and diplomat, earlier announced he was throwing his hat in the ring.

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‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame

A Swiss super fan who has shot to fame after images of him watching Switzerland’s win over France went viral told the media he was unaware of his viral fame - but that he was overwhelmed with the world’s attention.

‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame
Image: Twitter.

Like most Swiss football fans, Luca Loutenbach’s Monday evening – highlighted by a surprise upset win over the current World Champions and tournament favourite France – went about as well as you could have expected. 

But while his side were putting on the pressure through late goals to push the game into extra time, Loutenbach’s image was being shared across the world. 

Two pictures of Loutenbach, juxtaposed from before and after Switzerland scored an equaliser in the 90th minute to send the game to extra time, were widely shared. 

The images were even shared by Sadiq Kahn, the mayor of London, who congratulated Switzerland and said the images summed up the beauty of football. 

On Tuesday, Loutenbach spoke with Swiss tabloid Blick to tell the story. He said he had no idea about the images as his phone had no reception in Romania – and only found out after the game. 

“I didn’t have a network during the game. But some fans around me were connected to the internet and quickly realized what was happening. What an incredible buzz!” said the man from the canton of Jura. 

While Switzerland have made it further than they have in their history in the tournament, Loutenbach is far from a bandwagon fan. He told Blick he’s seen around 50 national team games before. 

“It’s the most beautiful day in the history of Swiss football, let’s not be afraid of saying it. It is the accomplishment of the immense work of the ASF (Federation), of (coach) Petkovic and of the whole team” he said.