Ali ready to take on Blatter

Ali, a member of the Jordan royal family, is up against incumbent president Sepp Blatter, former Portugal winger Luis Figo and Dutch football chief Michael van Praag in the race to be the new FIFA president.

Speaking at the launch of his campaign in London, Ali said that Blatter's failure to reform the organisation was damaging it.

"He has been the president and the president needs to be held responsible for what happens," Ali said.

"I have a lot of respect for what he's done in the past. However, if we talk about proper reform, I'm not confident that I've seen it.

"We've had for example Mark Pieth's report (into reforming FIFA), which was shelved and not taken into account.

"We've also had promises from him that he would not run again, but obviously that is not the case. With full honesty and integrity, I think he should give a chance to others, including myself." 

Ali faces an uphill battle to win the presidency, especially as the Jordan Football Association was the only Asian federation to support him. However, the 39-year-old is confident he has worldwide support.

"Obviously there is a bit of a culture of intimidation – let me put it that way – within FIFA," he asserted.

"But having said that, this is a candidacy for the whole world. I do know also that there are confederations who have their own elections coming up in the next couple of months.

"But I do believe that hopefully we will get as many votes as possible from around the world. This is a world issue and not just one of confederations."     

When pressed for more details on his 'intimidation' claims, Ali added: "I'm not going to expand very much, other than to say that in the past, if people take a principled stand, then they end up possibly being punished for it.

"That's why obviously the vote is secret and I hope that if things are played fairly and played rightly, things will go in the appropriate way."  

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