The Guardian
Email YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter

FIFA candidate, Prince Ali, pledges continuous support for Africa


Prince Ali

Prince Ali

FIFA presidential candidate, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, has pledged to continue supporting African football the way world football governing body’s outgoing boss, Sepp Blatter, supported the continent.

Prince Ali, who is the only candidate to have visited Nigeria to canvass support, revealed yesterday that he has a strong affinity with Africa and would try to revive the now dying unique African football flair.

Writing on his official website, the Jordanian affirmed: “Africa is part of my everyday life, my family’s blood. My wife is African and my children can claim African heritage. The vibrant, pulsating and uniquely diverse culture of Africa occupies a special place in my heart.

“So does Africa’s passion for football. As part of my campaign to become the new President of FIFA, I have travelled extensively across the continent and witnessed first-hand the African passion for the beautiful game. It is a passion I share with the people of this vast continent. And if elected president of FIFA, I will make it my personal mission to help African football grow and thrive.

“I see no reason why the Mother Continent, whose terrestrial and maritime migrants built civilisations, cities and communities in pre-historic times, cannot also create history on the playing fields of today.

“Football is woven into the very fabric of African society. From the young boys and girls honing their skills on dusty pitches to the world-class footballers plying their trade in the cathedrals of the game globally, football is the heartbeat of the continent.”

Prince Ali posits that the quality and attraction of the Africa Cup of Nations, as well the numerous African national sides competing in the World Cup, fuel the dreams of those seeking to escape troubled lives and a hardscrabble existence.

According to Prince Ali, “Africa is home to more than a quarter of the world’s footballing nations. African players have lit up the game with renowned footballers whose roll includes Roger Milla, George Weah, Tony Yeboah, the Touré brothers and Samuel Eto’o. Then there are those of African descent who have become immortalised: Zinedine Zidane, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Nwankwo Kanu, JJ Okocha, Didier Drogba, among them. And we’ve seen the commitment and dedication of these footballers in giving back to the community — offering beacons of hope for a new generation.”

Although he agrees that “Africa is the perfect example of the good that football can do by inspiring hope among the young, supplying memorable and unforgettable moments that light up lives and helping bridge chasms by uniting people behind a shared aspiration and instilling national pride ,” he regrets that despite the success African football has achieved, the FIFA of old could have done more to help the game on the continent.

He promised to assess the needs of each African nation, including travel funds to coaching standards and medical assistance to be in a better position to help the countries.

No Comments yet