Prince Ali says FIFA needs to speed up reforms

Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:07am EDT
 
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By Suleiman Al-Khalidi

AMMAN (Reuters) - Former FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan is concerned about the pace of reform in world soccer's governing body and says new president Gianni Infantino has "no time to lose" in bringing transparency to the organization.

Infantino was elected in February with the task of leading FIFA into calmer waters after a series of corruption scandals plunged the governing body into its worst crisis.

Prince Ali told Reuters in an interview that Infantino should focus on implementing reforms rather than issues such as proposals to expand the World Cup.

"I can only speculate as a new president he first has to look at his own administration and see what's going on in there," he told Reuters in Jordan, which is currently hosting the Women's Under-17 World Cup.

The tournament is the first FIFA organized female World Cup in the Middle East and is considered a significant milestone for women in the region, long constrained by cultural and religious conservatism.

"Everybody is looking at FIFA and the direction it is going and again it's critical time, there no time to lose."

Soccer's global governing body is attempting to recover from the worst graft scandal in its history which has seen 42 people, including former FIFA executive committee members, indicted in the United States since May last year.

Criminal investigations are also under way in Switzerland, where FIFA has its headquarters.   Continued...

 
Jordan's Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, president of the Jordanian Football Association, speaks during his interview with Reuters in Amman, Jordan, October 23, 2016. Picture taken October 23, 2016. To match Interview SOCCER-FIFA/PRINCE ALI    REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed