ZURICH: Jerome Champagne, initial declared candidate in pursuit of the FIFA presidency in May, has welcomed the further challenge from Prince Ali bin Al Hussein – without naming him.

Encouraging words came from, among others, UEFA president Michel Platini and Football Association chairman Greg Dyke.

Champagne issued a statement in response to Prince Ali’s own announcement insisting that the election in May should be “not about personal ambitions or fights between institutions [but] about football, its governance but also its future.”

For the former French diplomat the alternatives between the status quo and a brighter future are clear.

He described them as:

“Growing polarization and inequalities. Or universality;

“Continued inner rivalries and image problems for FIFA and football. Or reconciliation, inclusion and re-building of the reputation;

“Risk of losing control on the game taken away by those wishing to serve themselves. Or stronger governance to serve football at national, continental and world levels as well as the national FAs, the members of FIFA.”

He added: “[The choice] is about evolution for what needs imperatively to be changed in the future and about continuity for what has been done correctly in the past. It is about platforms, concrete proposals and visions! Mine are known, clear and public.

“So let’s wait for the release of the other alleged candidates’ programs and let’s start the democratic and fair debate that I have been calling upon since the first day of my campaign on January 20, 2014 – the debate we all and football need.”