FIFA's presidential election should go ahead as planned on February 26 and not be delayed due to the suspensions of Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, according to candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan.

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World football chief Blatter and UEFA boss Platini were suspended by FIFA's Ethics Committee last week, engulfed by a deepening corruption scandal as their sport faces criminal investigations in Switzerland and the US.

FIFA's ruling executive committee will hold an emergency meeting on October 20 and the possibility of delaying the election of its next leader is likely to be on the agenda.

"Delaying the scheduled election would only postpone needed change and create further instability," Ali said in a statement, his first since the suspension of Blatter and Platini.

"It would tell the world that lessons haven't been learned, that the same backroom deals that have discredited FIFA in the first place continue."

South African official banned
FIFA has suspended a South African football official for six years as part of a match-fixing investigation involving friendly games ahead of the 2010 World Cup.
Lindile Kika, who was the South African Football Association's head of national teams at the time, has been banned from all football-related activities.
FIFA judge Hans-Joachim Eckert found Kika guilty of breaching five sections of the ethics code.

A 2011 payment of two million Swiss francs ($2.09m) from FIFA to Frenchman Platini is part of a Swiss criminal investigation into Blatter, in which the UEFA boss is considered as someone "between a witness and an accused person", according to Swiss judicial authorities.

Platini has said the payment was for his work under contract for FIFA as an advisor to Swiss-born Blatter between 1999 and 2002, and the nine-year payment delay was due to FIFA's financial situation.

Both men have denied any wrongdoing.

Without Platini in the field, Ali's chances of winning could rise significantly.

As it stands, the deadline for nominations is October 26 and prospective candidates face a FIFA integrity check.

"Candidates have had plenty of time to declare and still do. The rules should not be changed after the game has started."

The prince, supported at the time by Platini, lost to Blatter in May's presidential election. But Blatter announced four days later that he would lay down his mandate as crisis engulfed FIFA.

Source: Agencies