Prince Ali welcomes Van Praag's FIFA bid

Van Praag, the 67-year-old head of the Dutch FA, entered the race on Monday

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Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan has welcomed Dutchman Michael van Praag's decision to enter the FIFA presidential race, describing him as a "credible candidate" who will add to the debate about the future of world soccer's governing body.

Van Praag, the 67-year-old head of the Dutch FA, entered the race on Monday saying he had the necessary backing of five national associations to qualify as an official candidate.

"We welcome other credible colleagues from the football family who want to join a genuine debate about the future of FIFA," Prince Ali said in a statement on Tuesday.

"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."

Prince Ali and Van Praag are among five men hoping to challenge incumbent Sepp Blatter when the deadline for nominations closes on Thursday.

Former FIFA deputy secretary general Jerome Champagne, former France international David Ginola and football agent Mino Raiola are unlikely to obtain the necessary nominations to have their names on the ballot paper for the vote at the FIFA Congress in Zurich on May 29.

Prince Ali, who is currently a member of the FIFA executive committee and is FIFA's Asian vice-president, declared his candidacy this month and although he does not have the full support of his own Asian confederation he does have backing elsewhere which should enable him to stand.

Blatter, 78, who has been president since 1998, remains the overwhelming favourite to win a fifth term.

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