AMMAN: Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, new challenger to Sepp Blatter’s omnipotence at FIFA, was one of the initial voices raised in support of the publication of Michael Garcia’s original report into the 2018-2022 World Cup bid scandal writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
While Blatter and the FIFA old guard took shelter behind cautionary advice from the in-house legal department, Prince Ali was among those who advised that only full transparency could rescue the world federation from the worst of the battering from its latest controversy.
Prince Ali is one of several members of the Jordanian royal family who know all about the complexities of the politics of sport.
His sister, Princess Haya, was a much-admired president until recently of the international equestrian federation while half-brother Prince Feisal is a member of the International Olympic Committee and heads the admired Generations For Sport organisation.
Prince Ali, president since 1999 of the Jordan Football Association – among many other roles – attained the Asian FIFA vice-president by ousting South Korean Chung Mong-joon in 2011. He has been a resolute criticism of the culture of secrecy which has continued to pervade the FIFA hierarchy even after the stalled reform process led by the Basel governance guru Mark Pieth.
Within the FIFA machine Prince Ali serves as chairman of the fair play and social responsibility committee and as deputy chairman of the football committee as well as his AFC roles as chairman of the social responsibility committee and deputy chairman of the development committee.
Prince Ali, in progressing this work, founded the West Asian Football Federation in 2000 and launched the Asian Football Development Project in 2012. The non-profit development project aims to develop football across Asia with a focus on youth development, empowering women, social responsibility and the protection and evolution of the game.