By Neil Halligan
Jordanian FIFA Presidency candidate says bid should have included neighbours Bahrain and the UAE
Qatar should have submitted its bid for the FIFA 2022 World Cup as a winter tournament from the outset, according to FIFA Presidential candidate Prince Ali of Jordan.
Prince Ali, who is in the running to replace FIFA President Sepp Blatter next year, said he fully supports Qatar hosting the World Cup in seven years’ time, but said the country should have bid for the tournament on a different basis, and included its neighbours Bahrain and the UAE.
“With World Cups you should have the ability to spread it around the region. Qatar should have bid for the winter in the first place and that it hosts it regionally with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which would be more feasible and easier to organise,” Prince Ali said, speaking at The Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, where he made a speech on 'Reforming FIFA'.
Prince Ali, who was the sole candidate standing against Blatter in the presidential election of May this year, said the outgoing President was able to win despite the public scandal because of his control and intimidation tactics. He said it impossible to believe that Blatter – who has denied any wrongdoing - was unaware of any malpractices that were taking place in FIFA in the years leading up to the crisis in May, which saw a total of 18 people indicted by the US justice department.
“There’s an issue because the leadership must have known about the issues going on within the organisation,” Prince Ali said.
“I think that that’s a definite. If things were going on they must have known. This is not to say the leadership were to blame but they must have known things were going on which were not right and not correct.”
Prince Ali will face competition from UEFA president Michel Platini and South Korea's Chung Mong-joon in the election for FIFA President on February 26 next.