AMMAN: FIFA Vice-President representing Asia and President of the Jordan Football Association (JFA) HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein welcomed on Monday, May 26, 2014 FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter in Jordan where the two football officials held a press conference at JFA Headquarters in Amman.

Prior to the press conference, the FIFA President joined Prince Ali and the board members of JFA in a meeting to discuss Jordan’s preparations for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2016, as well as the development of the sport and ways to move ahead.

“I’d like to welcome President Blatter in his second home and I thank him for his continuous encouragement and support not only for Jordanian football but also for West Asia and world-wide,” Prince Ali said.

On his behalf, Blatter congratulated the JFA on the success of its recent board elections and commended Prince Ali’s efforts in developing football both locally and continentally, describing the Kingdom as a “Hub for peace” for providing a safe alternative to all neighboring countries to play their matches whenever circumstances prevent them from playing on their own lands.

The FIFA President also congratulated Prince Ali on his successful campaign which led to allowing women footballers to wear the headscarf during official matches, and said that Jordan’s mission to host the Women’s Under-17 World Cup 2016 was “a milestone to show to the world that football is open for everybody”.

He also highlighted Jordan’s leading role in supporting women’s football and utilizing it as driver for women empowerment and the promotion of equal rights on and off the field.

Speaking about the visit to Palestine following the press conference, Blatter clarified that the objective was to “defend football,” noting that “We are here as a FIFA delegation of the highest level, FIFA President and Vice President.”

In a response to an inquiry on the representation of continental federations in FIFA, Blatter explained that the six confederations are recognized by FIFA and “have the right to have their elections according to their statutes”, and stressed that the representation of these confederations in FIFA remains an internal matter for the confederation to decide.

Addressing a question about the absence of the President of AFC during the visit to Palestine, Blatter noted: “I contacted both the President of AFC and the President of UEFA but they couldn’t join, the delegation is decided by the Congress of Fifa, I as President am mandated and I will propose the delegation, and I propose the Vice President of Asia.”