Prince Ali writes to FIFA over bloc vote concerns


FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali bin al-Hussein has written to the organisation's Ad-hoc Electoral Committee regarding a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the African Football Confederation (CAF) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

The agreement was signed and presented in Kigali, Rwanda on Friday with AFC president and FIFA candidate Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa present alongside acting FIFA president Issa Hayatou.

Hayatou, also president of CAF, described the "mutually beneficial cooperation" of four years as a way of ensuring the continents could "consolidate our ties, intensify our cooperation and build the capacities of the various stakeholders of football in Asia and in Africa".

However, ahead of next month's election to find a permanent replacement for suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter, Prince Ali has written to world football's governing body expressing his worries over the possibility of bloc voting.

"I am concerned that there has been an attempt to breach electoral rules in the FIFA Presidential election. I have written to the FIFA Ad-Hoc Electoral Committee informing them of my concerns and asking them to examine the matter," he said in a statement.

"I have always promoted cross-regional understanding, however the timing of this MOU between the AFC and the CAF looks like a blatant attempt to engineer a bloc vote.

"Africa's proud football associations are not for sale and development resources belonging to national football associations should not be used by presidential candidates and confederation presidents for political expediency.

"Questions must be asked: was this deal approved by the members of the executive committees of both the AFC and CAF and is the timing of the announcement, prior to a Presidential election, acceptable?

"Now more than ever, this apparent exploitation of confederation resources shows the world that the actions of individuals must stop bringing FIFA into disrepute."

Alongside Prince Ali and Sheikh Salman, Gianni Infantino, Tokyo Sexwale and Jerome Champagne are all in the running for FIFA presidential election, which is to be held in Zurich on February 26.