Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Asian football bosses to pick new Fifa vice-president

The battle for one of the most powerful positions in world football will be decided in Qatar on Thursday.

Asian Football Confederation members are to choose who they want to represent them as their vice-president on the Fifa executive committee.

Long-standing incumbent Chung Mong-joon from South Korea is being challenged by the Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein for the role.

Prince Ali is seen as being close to Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

And the Jordanian Prince has been keen to reinforce his links with Blatter in his YouTube promotional video.
Chung, in contrast, has been - in the context of senior Fifa members' usual restraint - an outspoken critic of Blatter's term in office.

Ten years ago, the 59-year-old said that the evidence of financial impropriety from the collapse of a marketing company which worked for Fifa was a bigger scandal even than the notorious corruption then surrounding the International Olympic Committee.

Chung supported an unsuccessful attempt to unseat Blatter and three months ago, speaking at a conference in London, the Korean appeared to push another challenge to Fifa's president, saying that "competition" at the top of football's world governing body should be "encouraged". 

Votes in the closed world at Fifa are difficult to predict, but opponents of Chung will be hoping that, with Qatar having been awarded the prize of hosting the 2022 World Cup finals, grateful Middle Eastern delegates from the 46 member states will back Prince Ali.

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