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19.07.2018 10:15
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GENEVA - Aiming to end Sepp Blatters 17-year grip on power at FIFA, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein has a daunting task.The 39-year-old prince from Jordan announced Tuesday he will be a candidate for the FIFA presidency even though five of the six continental confederations have already declared their support for Blatter.The rebellious region — European governing body UEFA — holds only 53 of the 209 votes and includes traditionally loyal Blatter supporters among former Soviet republics.Prince Ali also cannot be sure of widespread support within his home Asian Football Confederation, where he faces an awkward election in May before FIFAs decision day.Still, the prince represents a genuine choice for FIFA voters who truly want to freshen the culture of an organization rocked by scandals on Blatters watch.Elected by Asian members as their FIFA vice-president in January 2011, Prince Ali is untouched by the allegations of bribery and favour-seeking that tainted many of his colleagues on the much-discredited, Blatter-chaired executive committee, which he formally joined later that year.This was not an easy decision, the prince said in a single-page statement in which he pledged to run a positive campaign and did not specifically mention Blatter. It came after careful consideration and many discussions with respected FIFA colleagues over the last few months.The message I heard, over and over, was that it is time for a change.Prince Ali has been encouraged to run by UEFA President Michel Platini, who opted last year to avoid an expected challenge to his onetime mentor Blatter.I know Prince Ali well. He has all the credibility required to hold high office, the France great said in a statement. We now await his proposals and his program for the future of football.FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Blatters office.Prince Ali is considered the main challenger to Blatter. Jerome Champagne of France, a former FIFA staffer and longtime ally of Blatter, has also announced his intention to run.During Blatters 17-year reign, he has avoided personal scandal amid bribery allegations in presidential and World Cup hosting elections, kickbacks paid to senior officials, and World Cup ticket scams.Blatter has also mastered the politics of an often secretive organization he joined in 1975, a few months before Prince Ali was born. The veteran Swiss official has said his mission to lead world football is unfinished.That mission is fuelled by a runway popular and commercial success of FIFAs cash cow, the World Cup.The worlds most-watched sports event has given FIFA $1.5 billion in cash reserves with plenty more to give members and confederations every four years ahead of election day.Rest assured, the 11 members in this room are the first in line, Oceania confederation president David Chung said last June, pledging his voters support to Blatter in Sao Paulo, Brazil.Its against this culture — and Blatters long relationship with voters, such as the 54 in Africa who have little contact with Jordan — that Prince Ali must compete.Prince Ali did not specify which five FIFA members will nominate him, as required before a Jan. 29 deadline. He travelled Tuesday to Australia for the Asian Cup, which kicks off Friday after an AFC congress in Melbourne.AFC president Sheik Salman Bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain pledged its backing for Blatter at a 60th anniversary celebration at Manila in November, confirming earlier support in Brazil.It was a unanimous decision, Salman said at the time. We never go back on our words and commitments, thats how we are.Last June in Brazil, Sheik Salman also effectively manoeuvred Prince Ali out of his FIFA vice presidency by tying that role to the AFC presidency at future elections. Those are next due in May, when Prince Ali should contest an ordinary FIFA board seat as one of Asias four elected delegates.While others in Asia have shaped internal politics, Prince Ali has taken a more personal path in development projects for youth and womens football. Previously, he led a successful campaign to lift a FIFA ban on female Islamic players wearing headscarves in its competitions.The theme of public service follows a Jordanian royal family tradition for the son of the late King Hussein and the late Queen Alia, who died in a helicopter crash in 1977.Educated at schools in England and the United States, Prince Ali attended the elite Sandhurst military academy in England before joining his countrys armed forces.His sister, Princess Haya, stepped down last month as an International Olympic Committee member after eight years as president of equestrians governing body, and their half-brother Prince Faisal remains an IOC member.Prince Ali was a vocal supporter of FIFA ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia, who resigned last month with a parting shot at Blatters leadership style and the organizations seeming unwillingness to reform.On Tuesday, Prince Ali called for shifting focus away from administrative controversy and back to sport.The worlds game deserves a world-class governing body — an international federation that is a service organization and a model of ethics, transparency and good governance, Prince Ali said.However noble the aim, it is unclear that FIFA voters feel the same way. 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Last year, Matt Kuchar closed with a 4-under 68 to beat Kevin Chappell by two strokes for his second win of the 2013 season and sixth of his career.VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Whitecaps have cleared many hurdles in their four Major League Soccer seasons. One hedge that has continually tripped them up is playing the L.A. Galaxy on the road. Vancouver has never beaten the Galaxy at StubHub Center, where they have lost four times and been outscored 10-1. "Thanks for reminding me," coach Carl Robinson said with a grin this week after his team practised at the University of British Columbia. "Its got to change at some stage." The Whitecaps (2-1-2) are aware of the challenge they face when they play the Galaxy (1-1-1) Saturday in Carson, Calif. The team is packing a sense of confidence for the road trip. The Whitecaps have managed a win and tie against the Galaxy at B.C. Place Stadium. Saturdays game is another chance to measure themselves against one of MLSs perennial powerhouses. "Both sides have good competitors," said Vancouver captain Jay DeMerit. "Them being one of the better teams its a time for us to raise our game and really test ourselves and see how good we are. "That creates that battle sense." The Whitecaps are coming off their first defeat of the season, a 2-1 home loss to the Colorado Rapids last week. Vancouver led 1-0 but, playing one man down, gave up two goals in as many minutes to Rapids midfielder Jose Mari. "Those things happen and you move on," said DeMerit. "Knowing the calibre of team we are up against this weekend, that should excite us. That should take our focus and make sure we are preparing right. If we do the right things we can beat anyone in this league." The Whitecaps will be without midfielder Matias Laba who is suspended after picking up two yellow cards against Colorado. He could be replaced by Nigel Reo-Coker who missed two games after tripping over a bike rack and bashing his head. The 29-year-old from London was back practising with the team this week sporting an ugly scar on his head and a desire to get back on the pitch. "Im excited," said Reo-Coker, who started the first three games of the season. "When you sit out and watch one or two games its not nice. "Im someone who is used to competing." DeMerit said Reo-Coker makes the Whitecaps more abrasive. "Nigel brings a grit, he brings competitiveness, he brings a toughness in the tackle," he said. "He can really help us going forward when he gets the ball at this feet and drives at the defence.dddddddddddd" The Whitecaps have been a tale of two teams this year. Both their wins have come at home where they have outscored their opponents 7-4 in three matches. On the road Vancouver has managed two draws and just one goal. Robinson relishes the challenge the Galaxy present. "Were a young evolving team," said the first-year head coach. "It will be a good test to see where we are. "Its important we go on the road and try and dictate what we can, control ourselves, deal with them attacking wisely but putting a focus on us attacking." The Galaxy won their first match of the season with a 3-0 defeat of Chivas USA last week. Captain Robbie Keane scored his second goal of the season in the match. Keane has 36 goals and 22 assists in 58 MLS games since joining the Galaxy in 2011. Forward Landon Donovan needs just one goal to reach 135. That would make him the MLS all-time regular-season leader in goals scored. Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted said he doesnt want to be the answer to a trivia question. "It would be nice not to be that guy," said Ousted. "I am trying to keep a clean sheet so it doesnt matter who scores." Donovan has scored four goals against the Whitecaps, the most of any L.A. player. Keane and Donovan combine for a dangerous one-two punch, but defender Andy OBrien said its dangerous to focus on them because the Galaxy have plenty of other players able to deliver a knockout blow. "If you emphasize on Keane there are 11 players on the pitch," said OBrien, who has been a teammate with Keane on the Irish national team. "Not only does Robbie score goals he creates goals. "We need to close him down. He is one of a number of players theyve got that can score goals. From a defensive prospective you try to make life difficult for him and stick to it." DeMerit agreed the Whitecaps cant become too focused on just two Galaxy players. "One of their best qualities is they have a lot of interchangeable parts," he said. "You will see guys on the left end up on the right and guys in the centre on the left. "Guys have to make sure they are sticking with their jobs and their spots on the field. They are going to try to get us moving and change around. Defensively we need to be wary of that and get help from all 11 (players) defensively, not just the back four." White NFL Jerseys Cheap Youth NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Stitched NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Autographed Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Discount Jerseys ' ' '

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