Royal to stand as candidate in FIFA presidential elections in February 2016
Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, a candidate for the post of FIFA President, has said that Doha’s bid for the 2022 World Cup should have been for a Gulf-wide tournament rather than one held solely in Qatar.
Speaking in London to an audience at The Royal Institute of International Affairs, the Jordanian prince said that a bid of that nature would have been “more feasible”.
While Prince Ali said he supports the 2022 event being held in Qatar, he criticised the initial bid for not stating that the tournament would be played in the winter months.
“With World Cups you should have the ability to spread it around the region. Qatar should have bid for the winter in the first place and that it hosts it regionally with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which would be more feasible and easier to organise,” he said in comments reported by the Press Association.
Prince Ali is standing as a candidate for the role of FIFA President for the second time, after losing in a vote earlier this year when he ran against current incumbent Sepp Blatter.
Although the Jordanian royal had the backing of many European football organisations in this year’s vote, Blatter was backed by a number of smaller federations around the world, including Qatari officials.
However, in a surprise twist, Blatter stood down from his role just days after being elected as the head of football’s governing body, amid allegations of corruption swirling around FIFA. Blatter has denied any personal wrongdoing.
Since the arrest of several top FIFA executives in May, there has been a surge of corruption allegations reported by the world’s media. These events came on the back of FIFA choosing not to release the findings of its own investigation into corruption. It instead released an ‘executive summary’ that exonerated the bidding process.
The report’s independent author, American lawyer Michael Garcia, resigned from his position in protest over FIFA’s conduct.
Elections for a new FIFA president will take place on February 26, 2016.