Now with the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup hosts been decided, the football focus switches to Asia.
To be precise all attention will be on the January 6th, 2011 AFC Congress and election in Doha, Qatar.
It’s going to be a hot affair, not for the president’s seat which Mohamed bin Hammam has already bagged it with no opposition but there’ll be a ‘battle royale’ for the FIFA Vice-President’s (Asia) post.
Korea’s incumbent Dr. Chung Mong Joon, who has held this post for 16 long years, will be up against Prince Ali bin AL Hussein of Jordan.
Is the tide going to shift? Many in Asia want a change and could that be Prince Ali!
Of course, we cannot bypass the might and control Dr. Chung has. He afterall controls the second largest Korean company – HYUNDAI HEAVY INDUSTRIES GROUP.
But Prince Ali is gaining momentum and support for they believe that Prince Ali will be the voice of Asia in FIFA.
Prince Ali kicks-off the final lap of his campaign with a press conference today in Amman, Jordan, when he’ll unveil his football program.
As for Dr. Chung, he is still recovering from a bad dream after the recent FIFA World Cup bid selection.
Dr. Chung has been heavily criticised together with other FIFA Executive members and this will weigh down heavily in his battle with Prince Ali.
Prince Ali, the president of Jordan FA, succeeded in bringing his National youth team to the 2007 FIFA World Cup in Canada as well as three Jordanian national teams to the Asian finals in 2010, one of the few Asian countries to achieve this. Under his leadership, the National Women’s team has also dramatically risen in the latest FIFA Women’s world ranking
Prince Ali has also focused on invigorating Jordan’s youth team and strengthening football community centers across the country. He has promoted the game through education and culture.
In 2000, he established the West Asian Football Federation (WAFF), expanding the number of members, uniting the region’s football confederations and organizing and expanding international championships for men and women. He serves as President of the WAFF.
When I met Prince Ali two weeks ago in a private dinner, I was impressed by his humility. He didn’t portray his princely self but was very unassuming and down to earth. Prince Ali has a vision and mission for developing Asian football so it can rise to a higher competitive level.
JaiHo Malaysia will be following the AFC Congress closely ... more updates later.