Fifa's Prince Ali visits Zim

HARARE - Fifa vice-president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, who is challenging Sepp Blatter for the leadership of world football's governing body, arrived in the country last night.

The Jordanian Prince, 39, who will stand as a candidate at Fifa’s presidential election on May 29, where Blatter, 78, will seek a fifth term of office is expected to meet with Zifa president Cuthbert Dube.

Blatter and Prince Ali will also face stiff competition from Portugal's Luis Figo and Netherlands' Michael van Praag.

While it could not be immediately established why Prince Ali is visiting Zimbabwe, sources close to Zifa president indicated that the Fifa vice-president is coming to mobilise support ahead of the elections. 

He is also scheduled to meet government officials to discuss relationships between Zimbabwe and Jordan.

Zifa communications officer Xolisani Gwesela yesterday confirmed Prince Ali’s visit to Zimbabwe but could not reveal business for his arrival.

“He is coming tonight (yesterday),” Gwesela told the Daily News yesterday.

“He will meet the Zifa president tomorrow (today) but I don’t know what business they would discuss. Since its election time maybe he is garnering support.

“I also understand he will be meeting with the government officials.”

Since announcing his intention to run against Blatter in January this year, Prince Ali has been very critical of the way Fifa is being run.

Last week during the Uefa Congress in Vienna, Austria last week, the Jordanian monarch appealed for change at Fifa.

“We are in a crucial time for football. Both inside and outside the football family, people have expressed concern about the way Fifa is run,” he said.

“And there are some deep rooted issues that we as a family must unite to confront together. Around the world there is a real appetite for change, new leadership, better support to National Associations, meaningful investment in football development, and for Fifa to be a genuine service organisation.

“This movement calls for a better Fifa, one based on respect and dignity, admired by our stakeholders, and governed with a spirit of inclusion and transparency.”

At the same meeting, Prince Ali also revealed that some of Europe’s biggest football powerhouses were backing his bid.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Members of Uefa who had the courage to grant me their support, Belarus, England, Georgia, and Malta,” Prince Ali said.  

Football legend Diego Maradona has also issued a public plea in support for Prince Ali, who he feels will end the corruption at the world football governing body.

Maradona held a meeting with his girlfriend Rocio Oliva, his lawyers, Prince Ali and the Fifa vice-president's cousin and came away convinced the Jordanian deserves to win the May 29 vote.

“I want to offer him my support to help change Fifa once and for all,” Maradona told Ole. “I have seen for myself how the Prince has helped to grow the sport's support in the region.

“I have said a thousand times that I am not an advocate for corruption. I want to help change football for the better.”

Maradona is set to travel the world in the coming two months leading Prince Ali's campaign to oust Blatter - who is aiming for his fifth term in the position - and garner more votes than Figo or Van Praag.

Comments (2)

The aspiring Jordanian FIFA to be president is courting endorsement from a corrupt ZIFA set-up.

Mukanya - 31 March 2015

Lest vote for someone who can overturn our national team ban if we pay the brazillian his dues... what can we do?

X-MAN IV - 31 March 2015

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