LONDON: England’s Football Association is expected to support FIFA’s Asian vice-president Prince Ali bin Al Hussein in the world federation’s leadership election in Zurich on May 29.
The FA board is expected to ratify, on Thursday, a recommendation to provide one of the five nominations which the Jordanian needs to qualify as a candidate.
Thursday night, January 29, is the deadline by which all nominations must be registered with the world federation. Other declared candidacy hopefuls – apart from incumbent president Sepp Blatter himself – include Dutch federation president Michael Van Praag, former FIFA official Jerome Champagne and the joke candidacy of betting company promotee David Ginola.
FA chairman Greg Dyke is understood to have offered the association’s backing to Prince Ali and an informal decision has already been agreed to support Prince Ali.
The FA board’s view is that the more reformist candidates who enter the contest the better, and that they want both Prince Ali and Van Praag confirmed as candidates.
In October, Dyke stated his desire to see Blatter come up against another presidential candidate next May, saying: “The FA made it very clear we didn’t think he should have stood again. We did think he stood last time on the basis that would be his last term and therefore we needed another candidate.”
Dyke has also publicly welcomed the announcement by Prince Ali that he is standing, describing him as a “credible candidate”.
Prince Ali, meanwhile, has welcomed Van Praag’s late intervention in the election race.
He said: “We welcome other credible colleagues from the football family who want to join a genuine debate about the future of FIFA.
“This election campaign is not about personalities it is about what is in the best interests of football and the world governing body of the game going forward. It is good for democracy that Michael Van Praag has made this announcement.”
** Scotland and Wales are both seeking to have representatives on UEFA’s executive committee. SFA president Campbell Ogilvie and Trefor Lloyd-Hughes, president of the Football Association of Wales, have put themselves forward for election at the UEFA Congress in March. Lloyd-Hughes is also standing against England’s David Gill for the British FIFA vice-presidency.