Football Federation Australia this evening confirmed they will support Prince Ali bin Al Hussein in tomorrow’s FIFA Presidential election.
Australia are the first AFC nation to openly declare their intention to vote against the status quo, and comes less than 24 hours after the AFC re-affirmed their support for the incumbent, Sepp Blatter.
In a statement released on Thursday night, the FFA said:
“FFA Chairman Mr Frank Lowy AC arrived in Zurich, Switzerland, this evening (Australian time) to attend the 2015 FIFA Congress.”
The situation remains volatile amid suggestions that the FIFA Congress or Presidential election, or both, could be postponed. The outcome of this speculation is expected to become clearer overnight.
Speaking in Zurich after a round of meetings, Frank Lowy said: “FFA believes that profound change within FIFA is needed as soon as possible to address issues of governance and transparency.
“This belief will be reflected when Australia casts its vote in the Presidential election, should it proceed on Friday in Zurich.
“The Board of FFA has reviewed the manifesto for change proposed by Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein and believes it provides the basis for a fresh start for FIFA.”
Australia famously bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, receiving just one vote in a humiliating defeat and amid suggestions the bid misused public money in the process.
Lowy has been openly critical of the process in the aftermath and even openly requested FIFA refund the AU$46m of taxpayers money that was spent on the bid.
Just what the ramifications of this public declaration will be remain to be seen, especially if Prince Ali fails in his bid to oust Blatter, and come just months after reports surfaced that some AFC Member Associations were upset with Australia’s membership in the region and were attempting to force the nation out of the AFC and back to the Oceania Football Confederation, of which it was a member until 2006.
While Australia are the first to declare their hand, it is expected that a small number of other AFC nations will also vote for the Jordanian, although they will likely keep their vote under wraps to avoid the upsetting the apple cart.
Also on Thursday evening, UEFA threw their full support behind Prince Ali as the battle for FIFA Presidency heats up with only 24 hours until the ballot.