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Jordan FA mulling Prince Ali's legal options

03 June 2015, 20:33

Zurich - The Jordanian Football Association says it is studying FIFA rules to see whether they allow for the possibility of Prince Ali bin al-Hussein succeeding President Sepp Blatter without going to an election first.

Jordanian FA deputy chief Salah Sabra told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the organization's legal department is looking into the matter.

Also read: FIFA must change now - Pele

Sabra says there is no FIFA statute prescribing a new election in the event of the resignation of the president.

When asked about the possibility of Prince Ali serving as interim president, Sabra noted Wednesday that Blatter is remaining in office until a new election, which is expected between December and March.

Sabra says Blatter "has resigned and not resigned. It seems he is giving himself another year (in office). He might change his mind."

Prince Ali, who is the president of the Jordanian FA, lost to Blatter in the FIFA presidential election on Friday.

1225 GMT (8:25 a.m. EDT)

Hordes of journalists outside FIFA headquarters are sunbathing or taking shade from the baking sun in Zurich, waiting for more news a day after FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced he will resign.

About 100 journalists, including TV crews, have set up camp outside the complex on a tree-lined avenue. One group even had a pizza delivered to them.

Reporters were restricted to asking a group of schoolchildren who had been training inside on Wednesday whether they had seen Blatter, who will remain as president until a new election is held. The children just giggled.

1140 GMT (7:40 a.m. EDT)

Russia says the resignation of FIFA President Sepp Blatter hasn't affected the country's plans to host the 2018 World Cup.

Russia, which has been a staunch supporter of Blatter, says it will continue to work with him until he steps down and a new election for FIFA president is held.

Switzerland has launched an investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, says "we are assuming that Mr. Blatter will fulfil his obligations until the next congress is held, so the work is continuing and our cooperation with FIFA is continuing," in comments reported by Russia's Tass agency on Wednesday.

Peskov added that "the main thing is that Russia is continuing its preparations for the 2018 World Cup. All the plans are being implemented and the work is being carried out."

1120 GMT (7:20 a.m. EDT)

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has declined to comment on FIFA President Sepp Blatter's resignation or whether he is under investigation.

Lynch, who was in Latvia for a meeting with EU justice ministers, says "it's an open case and so we will now be speaking through the courts."

Lynch says the U.S. hopes that FIFA "will be able to move forward in a way that is supportive of its goals, which are the promotion and regulation of a truly wonderful sport."

Asked about allegations of suspicious payments related to the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar, she said Wednesday that matters related to those bids were part of the Swiss investigation.

1105 GMT (7:05 a.m. EDT)

South Africa's sports minister has denied that a $10 million payment was a bribe to secure the 2010 World Cup.

Fikile Mbalula says the government wants to "categorically deny" that South Africa paid any bribes to win the right to host the tournament.

Mbalula characterizes the $10 million as an "above-board payment" to help soccer development in the Caribbean region of former FIFA Vice President Jack Warner.

Mbalula also told reporters in Johannesburg on Wednesday that the South African government hasn't yet received details of the indictment from the U.S. Justice Department, which alleges the $10 million was used by South Africa to win favor from Warner and other FIFA voters to back South Africa's bid in 2004.

1045 GMT (6:45 a.m. EDT)

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Qatar Football Association president, says the nation welcomes the Swiss investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

He was responding to comments from English Football Association Chairman Greg Dyke, who suggested that Qatari football organizers wouldn't be sleeping very well following the announcement on Tuesday by FIFA President Sepp Blatter that he would be resigning.

Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup, while Russia is due to host the 2018 tournament.

"Mr. Dyke's instinct to immediately focus on stripping Qatar of the World Cup speaks volumes on his views concerning what will be the first FIFA World Cup to take place in the Middle East," Sheikh Hamad said, adding that the legal process should be allowed to take its course.

The U.S. launched a federal investigation into corruption in world soccer last week, issuing indictments against 14 current or former soccer officials on May 27.

0955 GMT (5:55 a.m. EDT)

In Seoul, former FIFA Vice President Chung Mong-joon says he will think about whether to run for the FIFA presidency.

Chung says "many people" are asking him whether he will run for the post after Sepp Blatter announced he would be stepping down amid a corruption scandal surrounding soccer's world governing body.

Chung told a news conference on Wednesday: "I'll carefully think about it before making a decision on whether to participate in the FIFA presidency election."

Chung, who was a FIFA vice president for 17 years before losing his seat in 2011, says he'll try to meet many figures in the international soccer community and listen to their opinions.

A FIFA official said Tuesday that an election will likely take place between December and March.

0930 GMT (5:30 a.m. EDT)

UEFA has canceled a meeting in Berlin this weekend where member federations were to discuss ways of opposing a Sepp Blatter-led FIFA.

UEFA President Michel Platini says it is better to await developments after Blatter announced plans to resign.

Platini also noted the "unpredictable nature" of a U.S. federal investigation into corruption in world soccer.

He says "considering new information is revealed every day, I believe it is wiser to take time to assess the situation."

The 54 UEFA member federations were expected to meet on the sidelines of this weekend's Champions League final.

At least 10 UEFA members are thought to have voted for Blatter despite Platini urging the FIFA president to resign before the election last Friday.

- AP


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