Blatter welcomes Prince Ali's Fifa candidacy
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Sepp Blatter has welcome the candidacy of Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein as he prepares to stand for a fifth term as Fifa president.
Fifa's incumbent vice-president for Asia, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) vice-president and Jordan Football Association (JFA) president, Prince Ali, threw his hat into the ring for the role on Tuesday.
Until earlier this week Blatter had only one challenger in the form of Fifa's ex-director of international relations Jerome Champagne, but now the May 29 ballot will be a three-way fight.
Prince Ali's candidacy has received the approval of Uefa president Michel Platini and the current president of world football's governing body has been quick to express similar sentiments.
"I can only rejoice in this nomination. We are a democracy, and this can only be beneficial for debate," Blatter told Le Matin.
Quoting a French proverb, Blatter added: "And do not they say that to win without peril is to triumph without glory?".
However, while the Swiss is pleased to have more competition for the role, the AFC will back the incumbent president and not Prince Ali after agreeing to do so at their 2014 congress.
"We made a pledge in congress in Brazil that the entire Asian football family was supporting the Fifa president," AFC general secretary Dato Alex Soosay told BBC Sport.
"As Asia we should also stay together and be united rather than divided.
"But I'm not here to stop anyone from having their own rights. The election is independent and democratic.
"For us the Asian Cup is paramount and I'm sure the member associations don't want to be affected by this situation. We just want to focus on football."
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