The KNVB chairman has pulled out of the race for the Fifa presidency and pledged his support to Al Hussein because he feels he can “knock the incumbent off his throne”
Michael van Praag says he decided to withdraw from the Fifa presidential election because he feels Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein has a better chance of beating Sepp Blatter if he is the only opposing candidate.
Van Praag, Luis Figo and Al Hussein were all looking to challenge the current incumbent in charge of world football’s governing body.
However, the KNVB chairman and the former Real Madrid star have both pulled out. And Van Praag revealed that the three candidates and Michel Platini all decided it would be best if they all got behind Prince Ali to prevent Blatter from getting re-elected.
“It’s about who has the best chance,” Van Praag told reporters. “Well, that’s Prince Ali.
“This is the time to stop and stand behind him. We started this to get Sepp Blatter off his throne. Supporting Prince Ali gives us the best chance to achieve that.
“The three of us sat together to discuss the remainder of the campaign. We discussed our chances and put our cards on the table.
“We came to the conclusion that one candidate would have the best chance to become president.
“Ali Hussein has made it clear that he has the best chance at the moment.
“I have pledged my support to him, provided he agrees with the main points of my program.”
Van Praag was given a budget of €400,000 from the KNVB, but he insists it was not a waste.
“My budget is not quite used up. No, I don’t think it was a waste of money.
“This does not feel like a defeat.”
Al Hussein has pledged to increase the teams in the World Cup to 36, believes the debate surrounding technology in football should be opened up and wants to see the Michael Garcia report on corruption surrounding the Qatar and Russia World Cup bids investigated.
The Jordanian Prince thanked Van Praag for his support and believes it is in football’s best interests.
“I am honored by his support. His decision to withdraw was taken with a view to the future of Fifa.”