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Prince Ali loses appeal asking for FIFA election to be suspended

By Reuters - Feb 24,2016 - Last updated at Feb 24,2016

ZURICH —  FIFA presidential candidate HRH Prince Ali’s request for Friday's election to be postponed because of an issue with the voting booths has been rejected by sport's highest tribunal.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said in a statement that it had rejected Prince Ali's request for provisional measures and that "the full order with grounds will be communicated in a few days”.

Prince Ali, whose request for transparent booths was rejected last week by FIFA, is unhappy with the arrangements for a vote expected to set a new tone of transparency for an organisation mired in the past in secret dealings.

He wanted the transparent booths to ensure delegates do not photograph their ballot papers. This would prevent delegates coming under pressure to produce evidence of their vote to interested parties.

"I regret that the system let us down," said Prince Ali, who had asked for the election to be postponed if the booths were not used.

"The only positive aspect of today's ruling is it that the election will now go forward as planned, and the media will be closely watching for any evidence that anyone is photographing their ballot," he said in a statement.

“It is now imperative that voters abide by the ban on mobile phones and cameras in the voting booth. I look forward to Friday’s vote and remain as committed as ever to the goal of reforming FIFA.

”Meanwhile, FIFA's appeal committee has upheld bans on long-time President Sepp Blatter and European football head Michel Platini for ethics violations but reduced them to six years from eight, it said on Wednesday.

"The FIFA appeal committee, chaired by Larry Mussenden [Bermuda], has partially confirmed the decisions taken by the adjudicatory chamber of the independent ethics committee on 17 and 18 December 2015 regarding Joseph S. Blatter and Michel Platini respectively, whose bans have been reduced from eight to six years," it said in a statement.

The committee said that the contribution of both men to football over the years should have been taken into account as a mitigating factor, but applied them only in reducing the length of the ban. The only remaining route of appeal for Blatter, who is 80 next month, and Platini, 60, is with the CAS in Lausanne.

Blatter and Platini were banned over a payment of 2 million Swiss francs ($2.03 million) made to the Frenchman in 2011 by FIFA with Blatter's approval for work done a decade earlier.

 

The decision not to overturn the bans against the two highest-profile elected men in world football completes a shameful treble for the sport following the 12-year ban imposed on Jerome Valcke, who was sacked as FIFA's secretary general last month.

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