Prince’s challenge to Blatter is welcomed by Dyke and Platini

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke has welcomed the decision by Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan to challenge Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency in May.

CHALLENGE: FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

Prince Ali, a FIFA vice-president and head of the Jordanian FA, is the first credible challenger to emerge and his announcement has also been welcomed by UEFA president Michel Platini.

Dyke, who has previously called for Blatter not to run again, said: “Personally, I welcome Prince Ali’s decision to stand for the FIFA presidency. It is very important that there is a credible candidate standing against Mr Blatter and Prince Ali is certainly that.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Platini added: “I know Prince Ali well. He has all the credibility required to hold high office. We now await his proposals and his programme for the future of football.”

The FA board will make the decision about who to support once nominations close on January 31 but Prince Ali already has close ties with the organisation.

The only other person to have stated they will stand for FIFA’s top job is Frenchman Jerome Champagne, but it remains uncertain whether he would get the minimum five countries to nominate him.

Britain’s FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce said it was important for the democratic process for there to be a proper election in May.

Boyce said: “I have known Prince Ali for the last three-and-a-half years and he is someone who is held in the highest esteem and is a very credible person.”

Prince Ali – a 39-year-old Sandhurst-educated son of the late King Hussein of Jordan – is understood to have spoken with Platini several days ago to inform him of his intentions.

Platini is said to be “very pleased” by the announcement and has already said he will not support Blatter for another term.