Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al Hussein is hoping to unseat Sepp Blatter as FIFA President. The race is basically between the two, after Luis Figo and Michael van Praag pulled out.
Two newspapers, Singapore’s The New Paper and Dutch daily De Volkskrant, are reporting that Prince Ali bin al Hussein and Michael van Praag had been approached by Kenya-based conmen who said Blatter had gathered sensitive information about them.
Both Prince Ali and van Praag confirmed the approaches.
“We have had a number of individuals coming forward with similar allegations,” a spokesman for Prince Ali was quoted as saying.
“Our approach has been to try and set up meetings with these individuals so we can assess them and the information they are giving for ourselves.”
The conmen said the director of an India-based security company put together a surveillance report on Prince Ali for submission to Blatter’s daughter, Corinne.
But when contacted by The New Paper, both the investigator and Corinne Blatter denied all knowledge and said they had been set up.
“I do not know who is behind it but it is clearly intended to damage my father’s reputation,” Corinne Blatter was quoted as saying.
According to the report, the approaches by email appeared genuine but details such as the investigator’s phone number and email address were wrong.
“I have no idea who would want to set me up, especially on such an elaborate scam as this,” the investigator, who was not named, told The New Paper.
“I have never worked for Ms Corinne Blatter in any way.”
Van Praag received an email which stated: “Some time in late August 2014, Sepp commissioned some espionage work on you fearing you might stand against him in future.”
The Dutch FA chief said: “What do you think it would mean for my image if I were to respond to those e-mails?
“If it is true that they are working on a case against me,then so be it. I have nothing to hide.”
Additional reporting by AFP