KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTING —- Prince Ali of Jordan has been offered a ringing endorsement in his pursuit of the FIFA presidency by his brother Prince Feisal, a sports leader in his own right as a member of the International Olympic Committee.
Last May Prince Ali bin Al Hussein prevented Sepp Blatter gaining the first round knockout victory in the FIFA presidency election, a result which helped contribute to the Swiss administrator’s decision to step down. A new election will be held next February 26 in Zurich and Prince Ali is one of five candidates.
Prince Feisal endorsed his brother’s qualifications in a conference call following the conclusion of the latest advanced training programme run by the Generations for Peace project which he leads.
He said: “We all grew up – my brothers and I – having a great teacher in my late father [King Hussein] and we all embody his values and his commitments.
“So I know that Prince Ali is a very good candidate. He is capable and can undertake the transformation needed [at FIFA]. Whether he is successful, of course, depends on the FIFA federatons but I’m very confident that he is an able and capable person.
“Our father taught us a sense of duty and commitment to improving everybody’s lives and the importance of being both responsible and responsive to the needs of all communities.
“These are all issues which, when looking at the challenge Prince Ali faces in FIFA, give him a very good backing in being able to make the changes necessary.
“He’s very passionate about his work and to making a difference. We’re all committed to try to to make a positive difference to this world and these are the values that will hold him in good stead in this competition.”
Prince Ali is one of five candidates along with Jerome Champagne (France), Gianni Infantino (Switzerland), Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifda (Bahrain) and Tokyo Sexwale (South Africa).
One of the major challenges facing whoever wins next February is in cleaning up FIFA’s governance which Prince Feisal identified as a key issue facing all of sport.
He said: “Sports bodies need to be clear, open and transparent. We fight very hard for the autonomy of sport but this is an issue also of good governance which is needed around the world whether in a national Olympic committee or in an international federation.
“We’d like to see greater transparency and accountability in sports in general.
“We, in the IOC, went through Vision 2020 last year looking at how do we shape the Olympic movement for the next decade. We’d like everybody to be open and honest, transparent and accountable, but it’s up to the individual federations to put the processes in place.
“Some people are maybe very old school and haven’t evaluated their processes so as to put that transparency and accountability in place. I’d love to see more of that.
“With the IOC we were ahead of the game.”
The latest Generations for Peace project brought together in Amnan 39 volunteers from 10 countries who have been working in their different contexts to address local issues of conflict and violence. The volunteers came from Ghana, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Republic of Macedonia, Nigeria, Palestine, Tunisia and Uganda.
Prince Feisal said: “I think they’ve had a great week here and we’ve helped them be more effective. It’s all about conflict transformation and this is giving the volunteers the tools they need to change things for the better.”