Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein has been elected as a FIFA vice president, beating incumbent Chung Mong-joon.
Just weeks after Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World Cup, the election of Prince Ali further strengthens the Middle Eastern influence within the Asian confederation.
Delegates at the 45-nation Asian Football Confederation congress voted 25-20 to back Prince Ali. The vote was another blow for South Korea, which was also a bidder for the 2022 World Cup, and almost certainly ends Chung’s chances of challenging Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency in June.
Blatter attended the congress in Doha ahead of the Asian Cup, which opens Friday, and called on delegates to support his candidacy.
Prince Ali said that he would unify Asia and bring fresh energy to the post.
“I want to introduce a new work ethic in Asian football,” he said. “I want to energize this position in a way that serves all our needs. I promise that if we win we will continue to unite Asian football in the future.”
Chung Chung suffered from his troubled relationship with AFC president Mohamed bin Hammam, who ran unopposed and was re-elected to a third and final term. He was also seen as a threat to Blatter.
Ali led the Jordan Football Association since 1999, and the following year founded the West Asian Football Federation – which includes Qatar, Iran, Iraq and Palestine.