Temperature at Fifa is raising with the upcoming May 2015 presidential elections and the fast approaching 29th January deadline for candidates to declare their nominations. With serious concerns amongst Fifa executives over the reputation and scandals affected governing body, the current Fifa vice president, Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, is ready to contest current president Sepp Blatter for the leadership.
Despite reports that there have been some recent secret talks between Blatter and Fifa officials about the future of his presidency and his standing for the May's election, the 78-year old Blatter has since declared his intention to bid for a fifth term; he has been the Fifa president for the past 17 years, since 1998.
Many at Fifa, wider sport community and public are delighted that the Jordanian Prince, 39, decided to challenge Blatter, whose presidency has been associated with a string of scandals and controversies; Blatter has been heavily critised for allowing corruption and bribery to take place during his 17-year resign as President, which culminated with the controversial decision over the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.
The Prince Ali is ready for the challenge; he has served his four-year term on Fifa's Executive Committee, has been the President of Jordanian football association since 1999 and, more recently, has been elected as the President of the West Asian Football Federation, which has been set up for the 13 football playing counties in the region, including Qatar. He was also instrumental for the lifting of Fifa's ban on the hijab in women's football.
The Prince, who was educated in the USA and the UK, is believed to be the strong candidate for the Fifa presidency. His most vocal support comes from Europe and Uefa President Michel Platini, who is a close ally of the Prince. Platini trusts in Prince Ali's genuine desire to shake up Fifa governing body and bring its focus back to football.
Other presidential challenger is Jerome Champagne, 56, who joined Fifa in 1999.
I is also believed that Jeffrey Webb, appointed president of Concacaf, the football confederation for North, Central America and the Caribbean, could potentially bid for the presidency.
Although the decision for a new Fifa president will come in May, it is clear that the 2015 presidental elections will be different from the last elections in 2011, when Blatter was the only candidate. We will need to wait until the 29th January to see how many presidential challengers there will be!