JORDAN, January 16 – FIFA presidential contender Prince Ali bin al Hussein has denounced a possible attempt involving one of his rivals to breach the election rules and called for an investigation.
“I am concerned that there has been an attempt to breach electoral rules in the FIFA presidential election,” the Jordanian prince said in a statement.
“I have written to the FIFA Ad Hoc Electoral Committee informing them of my concerns and asking them to examine the matter.”
It comes after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on Friday in Kigali to organise tournaments and programmes for technical development.
The Asian Football Confederation is headed by Bahraini Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al Khalifa, who is also running for the top job in world football.
“I have always promoted cross-regional understanding,” Prince Ali said. “However the timing of this MOU between the AFC and the CAF looks like a blatant attempt to engineer a bloc vote.
“Africa’s proud football associations are not for sale and development resources belonging to national football associations should not be used by presidential candidates and confederation presidents for political expediency,” he added.
“Now more than ever, this apparent exploitation of confederation resources shows the world that the actions of individuals must stop bringing FIFA into disrepute.”
CAF secretary general Hicham El Amrani told AFP on Friday that the confederation would decide on February 5 which FIFA candidate it supports.
The choice of the 54-strong CAF could be crucial in the FIFA vote, scheduled for February 26 in Zurich.
The African confederation enjoys the biggest membership ahead of UEFA (53), Asia (46), Concacaf (35), Oceania (11) and South America (10).
Prince Ali, a former FIFA vice president who is the brother of Jordan’s King Abdullah, is one of five candidates vying to take the helm of FIFA.
He has condemned the “backroom deals” that he says are one of the biggest causes of FIFA’s long-standing troubles.
The other candidates are UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino, South African business tycoon Tokyo Sexwale and former FIFA official Jerome Champagne of France.
Suspended UEFA chief and former France international player Michel Platini pulled out of the race last week.
Platini and outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter were suspended for eight years by FIFA’s ethics committee last month over a $2 million payment made to Platini in 2011 for work carried out between 1999 and 2002.