Tuesday 20 February 2018

Prince Ali unveils World Cup plan

Prince Ali Bin Hussein believes a single World Cup could be played across confederations
Prince Ali Bin Hussein believes a single World Cup could be played across confederations

FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein has made a formal rotation of the World Cup between the continents one of the key elements of his manifesto and says he can see a tournament being jointly hosted by several different nations.

Prince Ali, a current FIFA vice-president from Jordan, said he could envisage a World Cup being played in different countries - or even in different confederations - in a similar way to Euro 2020 which is being played in 13 nations.

In his manifesto, which he launched on Monday, Prince Ali has also warned against any decision on expanding the World Cup from its current 32 countries, or a re-allocation of places, being taken for purely political reasons to try to drum up votes for the FIFA presidency.

He is standing against current president Sepp Blatter, Michael van Praag from Holland and former Portugal international Luis Figo.

In terms of World Cup rotation, Prince Ali said the confederations should take turns hosting the tournament.

He told Press Association Sport: "The principle is that it should be rotated among the confederations but it still has to be based on the best bids.

"But we have to be open-minded. I think it is also possible that two countries from different confederations could co-host the World Cup. Look at Europe in 2020 - a number of different regions or countries could host the World Cup - it's in the past now but potentially the Gulf could have had a World Cup due to its close proximity."

FIFA has announced it will make a decision on the allocation of World Cup places at an executive committee meeting the day after the presidential election on May 29.

Prince Ali said much more consultation was needed before any decision should be made.

He added: "I am very hesitant about people playing politics with the most important flagship event of FIFA and possibly of sport in the world.

"We need to speak to all the stakeholders, including the sponsors. People are making promises to enlarge the World Cup but in 2022 they are making the World Cup shorter in terms of time frame. We cannot end up with a situation where mistakes are made again."

Prince Ali has also promised greater transparency, including making public the salary of the FIFA president and executive committee members. He also believes that the minutes of FIFA executive committee meetings should be made public.

He also wants an investigation into how the US television rights for the 2026 World Cup were awarded to Fox without a tender process or any discussion with the FIFA executive committee. FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has said FIFA "did what it had to do" to prevent any possible legal action from the broadcaster in relation to the 2022 rights after the Qatar World Cup was moved to the winter.

Prince Ali, who insists there is a real appetite for change among FIFA associations. said large sums of money for football had potentially been lost.

"Unfortunately I was not made aware of it and I have been trying to find out what is going on," he said.

"Something went wrong and we need to get to the bottom of it.

"It needs to have a proper tendering process which is good practice in any organisation in the world.

"We are talking about a large sum of money that future generations will potentially have lost because of decisions or misadministration taking place at the moment by people who will probably not be around at that time."

Press Association

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