(ATR) UEFA-backed FIFA presidential candidates Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, Michael van Praag and Luis Figo will meet this week as they seek to plot the downfall of Sepp Blatter.
The trio are set to meet on the sidelines of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) congress in Paraguay on Wednesday.
It will be the first time the Jordanian FIFA vice president, Dutch FA chief and former Portuguese star have met since each announced in January their bid to challenge Blatter for the top job in world football.
Today, Michael van Praag launches his manifesto, billed the ‘Normalisation agenda for FIFA 2015-2019’, the period he would serve if elected before making way for a younger successor. The 67-year-old will present his vision at an extraordinary General Assembly of the Dutch FA in Zeist, not far from the federation’s headquarters.
Van Praag is scheduled to hold a press conference afterwards before being whisked to Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport to fly to Paraguay to attend the congress. He plans to meet CONMEBOL president, Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay, and as many of the heads of the 10 member associations as he can to press his case for the FIFA presidency.
Prince Ali and Figo will also use the congress to lobby for votes. All three are sure to meet to discuss their plans to unseat Blatter, who will also be in attendance along with UEFA president Michel Platini and his CONCACAF counterpart Jeffrey Webb.
The trio vying to oust the Swiss will doubtless seek an audience with Webb, a Blatter ally with growing influence on the world stage, in a bid to convince him they are best suited to take the helm of the world football federation and restore FIFA's battered reputation.
The 78-year-old FIFA chief will aim to counter the assault on his leadership credentials, offering his own vision for world football to leaders of FAs in a region where he has traditionally had a stronghold of support.
On Tuesday, Blatter, Platini, Webb, US federation president Sunil Gulati, Spanish FA leader Angel Maria Villar Llona are among the guests at a dinner hosted by CONMEBOL.
Napout and Blatter are scheduled to attend a press conference after the congress on Wednesday where the Paraguayan stands unopposed for another term as CONMEBOL president.
Reported by Mark Bisson
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