Prince Ali asks FIFA to investigate bloc voting in upcoming presidential election

FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali of Jordan has written to the ad hoc Electoral Committee asking them to examine a deal between the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Prince Ali is concerned that a newly announced four-year memorandum of understanding between the two, which the parties have said is to improve the "development of football in the two confederations," is a way of engineering a "bloc vote" in the forthcoming FIFA presidential election.

AFC president Shaikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa is one of those standing against Prince Ali when Sepp Blatter's replacement is chosen on Feb. 26, and is heavily involved in the agreement, citing a "memorable day'' in a statement on CAF's official website.

But citing a possible breach of rules, Prince Ali said in a statement of his own: "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.

"I have always promoted cross-regional understanding, however the timing of this [memorandum of understanding] 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.''

Prince Ali launched his new manifesto in London last week, announcing that he wants to bring in tougher new rules on World Cup bidding, similar to those used by the International Olympic Committee.