Blatter rival on campaign trail in Zimbabwe

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FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein is in Zimbabwe to campaign for votes ahead of the FIFA presidential elections in May.

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Current FIFA president Sepp Blatter is running for re-election for a fifth term, but he will not be running unopposed, as Prince Ali, Dutch FA President Michael van Praag and former Portugal international Luis Figo are aiming to give Blatter competition.

Prince Ali is the vice-president of FIFA from Asia, and in January he announced that he would challenge Blatter for the top job, in an effort to bring the trust of football fans back to the governing body.

The world’s football governing body has been in the news throughout the last couple of years with corruption allegations and suggestions that issues at the Swiss-based organisation are seriously lacking in transparency and accountability.

Prince Ali’s visit to the southern African country will see him meet with the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) President Cuthbert Dube and sports minister Andrew Langa.

Africa is considered a stronghold of support for Blatter, as it was under his leadership that South Africa won the right to host Africa’s first ever World Cup in 2010.

Despite this, Prince Ali is making an effort to speak with football authorities on the continent to convince them that support for his presidential push is what makes best sense for Africa.

Zimbabwe is a good starting point, it would seem, as the national team was recently banned from the 2018 World Cup qualifying for unpaid coaching fees, and the FA may feel animosity towards current FIFA leadership as a result.

Prince Ali is in Africa as he will be attending the Confederation of African Football (CAF) general assembly meeting, scheduled for next week.

Africa makes up 54 of the 209 FIFA member countries that will be given the right vote in the presidential election and decide the future of FIFA’s leadership.