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Prince Ali launches FIFA presidency bid

Jordanian Prince Ali. PHOTO/File

Jordanian Prince Ali. PHOTO/File

AMMAN, September 9- Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Al Hussein on Wednesday launched a bid to succeed FIFA president Sepp Blatter, saying he is the only candidate with the “guts” to confront corruption in football’s governing body.

“I stand here in this ancient place in the timeless heart of Amman to once again launch my candidacy for the presidency of FIFA,” he told a gathering within the ruins of the Jordanian capital’s Roman amphitheatre.

Prince Ali, 39, is a former FIFA vice president who led an unsuccessful challenge as a reform candidate against Blatter for the top job in May, just two days after the arrest of seven FIFA officials in Zurich.

“Let me be clear. I want to finish what we started,” he said in a speech on Wednesday before his supporters, among them Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur.

“Ten months ago, I was the only person who dared to challenge Mr Blatter for the presidency of FIFA,” said Prince Ali.

“I ran because I believe that FIFA needs change. And I had the courage to fight for change when others were afraid.”

Prince Ali, a half-brother of Jordan’s King Abdullah II, said he conceded in a run-off against Blatter in May because “others were using me to make room for themselves”.

“They didn’t have the guts to run, but I did.

“Ever since president Blatter promised his resignation just a few days later, they have been scrambling to secure the job for themselves.”

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FIFA has been embroiled in a major corruption scandal since the arrest of the seven officials on May 27.

Its longstanding leader Blatter said he will give up when the special election for his successor is held on February 26.

So far the other candidates to come forward include UEFA leader Michael Platini, South Korean tycoon Chung Mong-Joon and Brazilian football hero Zico.

“My friends, I didn’t stand for election the first time to make way for others,” Prince Ali said on Wednesday.

“This election should be about football and not personal ambition. We have come too far to walk away now.”

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