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Champagne makes guarded response to Ali’s FIFA bid

06 January 2015, 13:54

London - Jerome Champagne, who began his campaign for the FIFA presidency a year ago, said on Tuesday that this year's election for the top job in world soccer is not about personal ambition but concrete proposals for the future of the game.

Earlier on Tuesday, FIFA executive committee member Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan declared his intention to challenge for the leadership of world soccer's governing body.

Incumbent Sepp Blatter has also declared his intention to stand for a fifth term at the election in Zurich on May 29. Potential candidates have until Jan. 29 to declare their intentions.

Champagne, who announced his intention to stand last January, appeared to welcome the growing challenge to Blatter, who has seen FIFA lurch from one crisis to another during his presidency which began in 1998.

Also read: Prince Ali to challenge Sepp

"The 2015 election is not about personal ambitions or fights between institutions, it 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," Champagne said in a statement, reacting to Prince Ali's announcement.

"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 programmes and lets start the democratic and fair debate that I have been calling upon since the first day of my campaign -- the debate we all, and football, needs."

Prince Ali, 39, said he was standing because he felt it was "time to shift the focus away from administrative controversy and back to sport".

He added: "This was not an easy decision. It came after careful consideration and many discussions with respected FIFA colleagues over the last few months.

"The message I heard, over and over, was that it is time for a change. The world game deserves a world-class governing body - an International Federation that is a service organisation and a model of ethics, transparency and good governance."

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- Reuters


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