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An op-ed by Alan Hubbard* for Inside the Games, Nov 3, 2015
Will it be a Sheikh or another suit who wins the dubious right to try and drag FIFA out of the quagmire of corruption after almost half a century when the presidential election to replace Sepp Blatter takes place in February?
Or could it be that sport’s most malignant governing body is deemed unfit even for a prince?
The list of proposed candidates hardly constitutes a Magnificent Seven as the football world contemplates a scenario that has more than a whiff of a Witches’ Brew about it.
Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
They are hardly an awe-inspiring bunch There’s Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, Musa Bility, Jérôme Champagne, Gianni Infantino, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, Tokyo Sexwale and, of course, suspended UEFA president Michel Platini whose candidacy will only be confirmed if he clears his name in time.
Of these Jordan’s Prince Ali seems a marginal bookies’ favourite even though he was well and truly seen off by septic Sepp last time a vote was held.
I have always preferred the cut of 39-year-old Prince Ali’s royal jib to any of the others who have thrust themselves forward. Having met him I believe that like his elder sibling Prince Feisal, now a prominent member of the International Olympic Committee, he is a relatively young man with some fresh ideas and decent principles, untainted by scandal and with the good of sport at heart.
Unlike some of his less appetising rivals he comes without baggage but whether he has the gravitas and muscle to rid FIFA of its Mafia-like image is open to question, though one would like to hope so.
For when Blatter constantly referred to the “FIFA family” it was if he was auditioning for Godfather IV.....................