By Mike Collett
MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - The Jordanian prince beaten in May's FIFA presidential election by Sepp Blatter will almost certainly announce later this week he will stand for the position again at FIFA's extra-ordinary elective congress next February.
Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein on Monday strongly hinted he would stand while speaking to delegates at the Soccerex business convention in Manchester.
Although Ali would not confirm his intentions publicly, sources familiar with the developing FIFA presidential campaign later said the prince would definitely stand and would make his announcement later this week.
He is returning to the Jordanian capital Ammann on Tuesday before flying to London on Thursday where he is to address delegates at another public meeting.
Ali, 39, lost by 133-73 votes to incumbent Blatter who then announced he was standing down from the position four days later after FIFA was plunged into its worst crisis following arrests of its officials and others two days before the election.
A fresh election to find a successor to Blatter will be held in Zurich on Feb.26 and Ali now looks certain to become the third major candidate after declarations from UEFA President Michel Platini of France and former FIFA executive committee member and Asian vice-president Chung Mong-joon of South Korea.
Asked by moderator David Davies if he was a candidate for the presidency of FIFA again, Ali replied: "I am talking to national associations, listening to their opinions and what they see for the future and giving my own ideas.
"Right now we need a candidate who is forward thinking and will bring new ideas who is not tainted by the past as well. So what I will say right now is 'stay tuned'"
Davies asked: "Do I need to stay tuned this week, or for a month?"
Ali replied with a broad smile: "Not for very long."
(Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)