FIFA Presidential Candidate Prince Ali Al Hussein insists he will pursue a tailored approach to African football if he is elected to the top spot of the world football body. “I will assess the needs of each nation on the continent, from travel funds to coaching standards and medical assistance and I will help them accordingly. No longer will there be a ‘one size fits all’ approach. The needs of the different African nations are as diverse as the land itself,” he says in an opinion piece, entitled My Goal For Africa.
He says the FIFA of old could have done more for Africa. “I will continue to support the good work FIFA has done in terms of “hardware”, such as investing in stadiums, artificial pitches and infrastructure across the continent. But I will also ensure that the “software” of rules, practices and ethics are of the highest standard.” He cited travel times and European driven schedules as an impediment to African teams and vowed to make changes.
Prince Ali evokes his personal ties to Africa and offers specific ways to develop a new generation of African talent. “I will raise the Financial Assistance Programme from $250,000 to $1m a year, introduce FIFA regional development offices staffed by FIFA-employed professionals who can travel to National Associations to assess their development needs, assist with funding applications and support in the delivery of development projects and simplifying the development fund application process.”