FIFA chief Sepp Blatter welcomes Prince Ali’s challenge

Sepp Blatter (C) says he welcomes the challenge from Prince Ali bin al-Hussein (R) for the FIFA presidency.


GENEVA — FIFA President Sepp Blatter has welcomed his election rival Prince Ali bin Al Hussein’s challenge as good for debate.

Blatter is quoted by Swiss daily Le Matin saying ”I can only be happy with this candidature.”

The 78-year-old Blatter, who is strongly favored to get a fifth mandate in the May 29 election, says ”we are in a democracy and this can only be beneficial for debate.”

Blatter was re-elected unopposed in 2011 after intended opponent Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar was implicated in bribing voters, and says it is better to win a contest.

Quoting a French saying, Blatter suggests ”don’t we say that winning without danger is triumph without glory?”

The 39-year-old prince of Jordan, a FIFA vice president, says the governing body needs to change and focus on football instead of controversy.