AMMAN: Iraq has expressed its support to Prince Ali al Hussein of Jordan’s campaign for the FIFA presidency.

Prince Ali held a meeting in Amman with the Iraqi Minister of Sports and Youth, Abdul Hussein Abtan, the Iraqi Football Association president Abdul Khaliq Masood and a sports delegation including former national team players.

Prince Ali was visiting his home city after campaigning in Africa and the Caribbean, where he picked up private commitments of support from several other nations.

Development work

After the meeting late on Monday, Abdul Khaliq Masood said: “The [Iraqi] FA has endorsed Prince Ali in a letter to FIFA. We have decided that Iraq’s vote will go to Prince Ali because Prince Ali has always supported the development of football in Iraq, Jordan and our region.”

Abdul Hussein Abtan told Iraqi state television: ‘We are very pleased to support Prince Ali. He is the best man for the job. We greatly appreciate everything Jordan has done to support Iraqi sports and youth over the years.’

Over the past 15 years Iraqi teams have used Jordan as an exit point and have their neighbouring country as a venue for international fixtures.

Efforts to lift the ban on Iraq hosting international matches were also discussed.

** The four other FIFA candidates for the election on February 26 to succeed Sepp Blatter are: Jerome Champagne (France, former senior FIFA official), Gianni Infantino (Switzerland, general secretary of UEFA and Platini’s back-up), Tokyo Sexwale (South African businessman and head of FIFA’s Israel-Palestine monitoring panel) plus Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifda (Bahraini president of the Asian Football Confederation and hence a current FIFA vice-president).