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FIFA Vice-President Calls For Term Limits

Mon 8th Sep 2014 | FIFA

FIFA vice-president Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan says he is in favour of term limits for senior employees even though the concept was rejected at June’s FIFA Congress in Sao Paolo.

Prince Ali, of the most committed reformists in the game, was born in 1975, the same year Sepp Blatter joined Fifa.

Blatter announced on Monday he was definitely standing for a fifth term of office  next year despite having been president for 16 years. The veteran Swiss is fiercely opposed to both age and term limits and while Prince Ali agrees with the former, he takes the opposite view to Blatter on the latter.

Speaking at the Soccerex Global Convention, Prince Ali chose his words diplomatically when he was asked how he felt about Blatter confirming he was going to stand for a fifth term after stating publicly in 2011 that he would step down.

"He has the full right to stand again and that looks to be what he has in mind,” said Prince Ali.  "If you are fit enough to do the job, I don’t have a problem with that whatever age you are. But the process of reform within FIFA needs to continue and eventually we should look at instigating term limits and maybe  not just for the FIFA president but also for executive committee members as well, including myself,” he said.

Prince Ali, head of the Jordanian FA who will lose his vice-presidency next spring, is battling to cling on to a senior FIFA role – but he won't be challenging Blatter. "It is always good to have new ideas and new opinions, and that's the way forward. But me as a candidate for next year? No, though I would like to remain on the executive committee.”

He hinted that if Blatter stays on, FIFA should concentrate far more on matters on the field rather than get embroiled in personality issues.

“Obviously incumbents have the upper hand when it comes to elections.  The most important thing is that I hope that any election is not based on personality but on someone with a clear mandate. The next four years are very crucial for FIFA.”

Prince Ali also said that Asia needed a 10-year strategy to improve its results after none of the four Asian countries at the World Cup this summer -  Japan, South Korea, Australia or Iran - made it past the opening phase.

"If we are going to have the World Cup in 2022 in Qatar in our part of the world we want to participate and participate in strength and we need a long term strategy to aid our development, but it can be the catalyst for our development,” he said.

On the day the FIFA Task force looking into when to stage the 2022 World Cup in Qatar met for the first time in Zurich, Prince Ali said he favoured a winter tournament on balance. "I think it can a wonderful celebration and obviously it makes more sense for it to be held in the winter."

And he believes the whole Asian region will benefit from staging the under-17 womens World Cup in his native Jordan in 2016. “The game needs a bit of a push and we are happy to be the ones to do it.”

Follow @fcbusiness #Soccerex for updates throughout the convention

Image: Action Images / Andrew Boyers Livepic

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