As the battles for the various World Cup qualifying tournaments heat up, so does the race for the Fifa presidency, with Diego Maradona throwing his support candidate current vice president of the organization Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein over incumbent president Sepp Blatter, who is seeking a new term.
“I want to offer him my support to help change Fifa once and for all,” the former player said in an interview. “I have seen for myself how the prince has helped to grow the sport’s support in the region.
Maradona also had some harsh comments regarding Blatter’s administration of the football governing body, accusing the current head of corruption. “I have said a thousand times that I am not an advocate for corruption,” he stressed. “I want to help change football for the better.”
The Argentinean has been very vocal of his criticism of the president’s leadership for some time now. The situation was not helped by Fifa banning Maradona from entering stadiums during last year’s World cup in Brazil, allegedly for his relentless attacks on Blatter.
Marodona will serve as Al-Hussein’s campaign executive and is set to travel around the globe to promote the Jordanian’s candidacy. Al-Hussein was instrumental for the lifting of the ban on wearing of the hijab, the traditional Muslim women’s head covering, in Fifa women’s football games.
Aside from Al-Hessein, other candidates seeking the Fifa presidency are former footballer Luis Figo and Royal Dutch Football Association chairman Michael van Praag.
On the other hand, Blatter is currently seeking his fifth term as head of the world football governing body. However, while the 79-yer old president still remains popular, he has been accused of corruption over Russia’s and Qatar’s World Cup hosting bids. The two countries have been selected as host for the 2018 and the 2022 edition respectively.