London - FIFA has been
"decimated" by scandal, Prince Ali bin al Hussein a candidate to
become president of football's world body said Saturday after its president was
placed under criminal investigation.
He said the suspicions of criminal
mismanagement against FIFA's veteran leader highlighted "the need for new
leadership that can restore the credibility of FIFA".
"We cannot change the past, but we can
have a future where FIFA member associations are able to focus on football
rather than worrying about the next scandal or criminal investigation involving
FIFA leadership," he said in a statement.
The prince, a former FIFA vice president,
who challenged Blatter in an election this year, said FIFA "has already
changed, shaken to its very core by the scandals that have decimated our
governing body and cast a cloud over the entire organisation."
Football leaders have a "duty" to
show that the world body is "worthy of the sport it oversees on behalf of
the players, the fans and the millions of young boys and girls who can benefit
"I have heard from many member
associations over the last 24 hours, and what I have heard gives me confidence
that, working together, we can emerge from this stronger," the prince
Swiss investigators questioned Blatter on
Friday on suspicion of "criminal mismanagement" as the FIFA
corruption storm climbed to the summit of the world body's leadership.
This dramatic latest twist in FIFA's
corruption saga came after months of probes following raids in Zurich which led
to the indictment of more than a dozen top officials.
Blatter announced four days after he was re-elected
on May 30 that he will stand down. The prince, UEFA president Michel Platini -
who has been implicated in the new investigation - and South Korean tycoon
Chung Mong-Joon, also a former FIFA vice-president, are leading candidates in
the February 26 election to take over.