FIFA Presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein insists change within world football's governing body "is not a matter of choice" ©Getty Images

FIFA Presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein says world football's governing body has been "shaken to its very core" by recent corruption scandals, but is confident of change. 

The Jordanian royal has today released a statement in the wake of yesterday's news that the Swiss Attorney General had opened criminal proceedings against outgoing President Sepp Blatter. 

Blatter is under investigation on "suspicion of criminal mismanagement as well as - alternatively - on suspicion of misappropriation".

It is alleged that on September 12, 2005 he signed a contract with the Caribbean Football Union - headed at the time by another corruption-tainted official in Trinidad and Tobago's Jack Warner - and that this was "unfavourable" for FIFA.

The Swiss is also suspected of making a "disloyal payment" in February 2011 to UEFA President Michel Platini, meaning it was allegedly at the expense of FIFA, which was supposedly made for work performed between January 1999 and June 2002.

"The need for new leadership that can restore the credibility of FIFA has never been more apparent," said Prince Ali.

"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.

"We have to accept that changing FIFA is not a matter of choice; it 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.

"We have a duty to use our expertise, our experience, and our knowledge to lift that cloud by taking action to demonstrate that FIFA 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 from it."

Criminal proceedings were opened against outgoing FIFA President Sepp Blatter yesterday
Criminal proceedings were opened against outgoing FIFA President Sepp Blatter yesterday ©Getty Images

Prince Ali was the sole challenger to incumbent Blatter in May's Presidential election, losing by 133 votes to 73 during the FIFA Congress in Zurich.

Just days later, however, Blatter announced his shock intention to stand-down following a series of arrests of high-level FIFA officials. 

Earlier this month, Prince Ali confirmed his intention to run for FIFA Presidency again, in February of next year, with an aim of returning the sport to what makes it the "greatest on Earth".

He joins the likes of South Korea's Chung Moon-Joon, Liberian Football Association President Musa Bility, former Brazilian international Zico and one-time front-runner Platini in throwing his hat into the ring. 

He was seen as close to Platini ahead of May's election but a divide now appears to have grown between the two officials, with Prince Ali's statement day a further suggestion of their growing rivalry.

"Change, as I have always said, is a process," he added. 

"It is not an event.

"The process of change at FIFA began in May.

"We have an opportunity in February to carry that momentum forward.

"We must now come together and work to restore FIFA's credibility and reputation by bringing about the change that is so clearly needed.

"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.''

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