Qatar’s original World Cup bid should have stated that the tournament would be played in the winter and be shared with other countries in the region, a FIFA presidential contender has said.
Speaking in London this week, Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan told an audience at The Royal Institute of International Affairs that a bid of that nature would have been “more feasible.”
“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 organize,” the Press Association quotes him as saying.
Al Hussein is now putting his hat in the ring for FIFA president a second time. He ran earlier this year against Blatter, but withdrew after his opponent’s victory seemed imminent.
Although Prince Ali had the support of many football organizations in Europe during this year’s vote, officials in Qatar backed Sepp Blatter in the election.
Days after his win, Blatter announced he would resign from his fifth term as head of the world’s football governing body after a corruption scandal rocked the organization.
The election for the new president will take place on Feb. 26, 2016.
Though Prince Ali has previously spoken positively of Qatar’s World Cup bid, his recent remarks about the tournament venue and timeline appear less supportive.
Meanwhile, Qatar has steadfastly remained against the idea of sharing hosting privileges with neighboring countries, saying among others things that it would be inconvenient for fans to have to travel so much to attend matches.
Whether Prince Ali gets Qatar and other Arab countries’ backing during this next presidential bid remains in question.
He is no doubt hoping that his previous backers will remain loyal when they cast their votes in February, but there are signs that some European voters may be switching their allegiances.
In an interview with the BBC, head of Romanian football Razvan Burleanu said he will likely support UEFA President Michel Platini in the forthcoming election, despite voting for Prince Ali in May.
Burleanu told the BBC’s World Football program:
“Taking into consideration that the Asian confederation already announced political support for Platini, I don’t want to say that it is a mistake but politically, it’s not a good step.
I don’t know how many votes he is expecting from other confederations, but from Europe, I’m expecting it to be very, very difficult for him.”
At the moment, three other men – UEFA President Michel Platini, former Fifa executive Chung Mong-joon of South Korea and Liberian FA president Musa Bility – will also likely put themselves forward for the FIFA presidential post.