Statement from Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter

Feb 21, 2016, 16:09 ET from Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter

ATLANTA, Feb. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The February 26 election of a new FIFA President is a critical opportunity for the international sports federation to begin a badly needed process of reform. The first test of FIFA's ability to reform itself will be how the presidential election is conducted. As someone who has worked to bring fairness to elections around the world, I am concerned about reports that the sanctity of the secret ballot may be compromised in the FIFA election process.

A secret ballot is essential for ensuring that voters are guided solely by their conscience and are not influenced by external pressure. A transparent voting booth that would make it impossible for voters to photograph or otherwise record their selection is the only way to ensure ballot secrecy.

The second test of FIFA's commitment to reform is the outcome of the election. FIFA needs a president with credibility, commitment and the right values to lead it out of its current crisis. I believe that someone is Prince Ali.

SOURCE Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter