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Prince Ali back in the race to be FIFA president

sources: he would make his announcement later this week

Published: Updated:

Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan is back in the race to be elected FIFA president having declared his candidacy on Wednesday four months after losing May's vote to Sepp Blatter.

Prince Ali, 39, announced in a speech in the Jordanian capital that he would run again for the top job at world soccer's governing body.

"Friends I stand here in this ancient place in the timeless heart of Amman to once again launch my candidacy for the Presidency of Fifa," Prince Ali said.

"Let me be clear, I want to finish what we started," he added.

"We have come too far to walk away now. I have thought long and hard on this, I believe in the road we started, I believe in the moments I shared with people all over the world, who told me their hopes and dreams."

Prince Ali is the third heavyweight to declare following UEFA chief Michel Platini of France, and former Asia vice-president Chung Mong-joon of South Korea.

He also said in his declaration speech that his campaign will depend on reforming the organisation.

"It is only through new leadership that FIFA can change I do not believe that FIFA can give this sport back to the people of the world without new leadership, untainted by the practices of the past.

"Since the last election, I have thought long and hard about how to reform FIFA. It will be a difficult task. We must overcome deep-seated corruption and political deal making.

"I will not be a pawn for others. I cannot leave the field that I have cleared, only to allow a flawed system to continue.

"To Member Associations of FIFA I say, you are the backbone of football and FIFA should serve you. FIFA will not be run as the personal fiefdom of an all-powerful clique.

"We must take back the game we love," Prince Ali added. "We must return to what makes football the greatest sport on Earth: hope, dignity, excellence and opportunity."

Ali, 39, lost by 133-73 votes to incumbent Blatter who then announced he was standing down from the position four days later after FIFA was plunged into its worst crisis following arrests of its officials and others two days before the election.

A fresh election to find a successor to Blatter will be held in Zurich on Feb. 26 and Ali now looks certain to become the third major candidate after declarations from UEFA President Michel Platini of France and former FIFA executive committee member and Asian vice-president Chung Mong-joon of South Korea.


WIDESPREAD REFORM

On Monday, he said that neither Platini, who supported him in May's election, or Chung, who lost his executive committee seat as Asian vice-president when Ali beat him in an election in 2011, were ideal future candidates for the FIFA presidency.

"I have tremendous respect for Mr Platini both as the UEFA president and a former footballer but at the same time there is a difference between UEFA and FIFA," he continued.

"FIFA is in a crisis and we need a new beginning, and whether anyone likes it or not, Michel Platini's introduction into football governance was as a protege of Sepp Blatter. That's the reality.

"I have sat down and talked with him, I have listened to his ideas and I think it's my responsibility to at least guarantee the future is different from the past and therefore I was not very encouraged by Michel Platini."

He was equally dismissive of Chung, who spent 17 years on the FIFA executive committee before losing his seat to Ali four years ago.

"The important thing is to have a new beginning," said Ali, "and to have new ideas and therefore any candidate who has been in the organisation for a long time is not what is needed at this time."

Ali confounded many observers by forcing a second round of voting in May's election after denying Blatter an outright two-thirds winning margin in the first round.

He then conceded defeat before a second ballot took place, but again implied he was considering another bid for the presidency when Davies asked him if he could win the election without the formal, central backing of his own Asian confederation, who's leadership is backing Platini.

However, it is hard to see him collecting so many votes again, especially if UEFA members back their president Platini and the Asian confederation also throws its weight behind the Frenchman.

"It is a while till we get to the vote in February, but we will see. If the elections are done correctly, cleanly and properly, without interference, then I believe I can win, for sure."

Candidates with nominations from five national associations must officially register their declarations with FIFA by Oct. 26.