Fifa hopeful Prince Ali: I'll protect players and listen to fans

Fifa hopeful Prince Ali: I'll protect players and listen to fans
Jordan's Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein (C) and Prince Hashem (R), son of his brother King Abdullah, watch Jordan play against Japan during their 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer match at King Abdullah stadium in Amman March 26, 2013.

ZURICH - FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein wants football's governing body to protect players' rights and pay more attention to fans and sponsors, he said on Friday.

The Jordanian suggested a revision of the number of slots allocated to each continent at the World Cup and added the hierarchy should be shaken up so "the FIFA president is there to serve...and protect the game".

The 39-year-old also wants to "make FIFA a model of good ethics", he said on his new website (www.worldsgame.com).

"There is a critical need to rebuild public confidence in FIFA and show fans we have football's best interests at heart," said Prince Ali, a member of the executive committee.

"FIFA exists to promote and develop the game of football around the world and must get back to focusing on that goal," he said before adding he would publish a more detailed manifesto after consulting the national associations.

Prince Ali wants to "protect the rights of players by addressing issues related to the transfer system, unethical agents and other threats to player health, safety and well-being".

He said he would dedicate at least $700 million of FIFA's reserves to creating more pitches.

"For too long FIFA has governed football without a robust strategy or clear vision for the growth of the game," he explained.

"Far too many boys and girls around the world do not have access to the basics -- boots, kits, balls and pitches. FIFA should focus on the basics in its development efforts."

Other pledges included "a proper review of the World Cup format and the places available to the respective confederations with a democratic and transparent consultative process".

He added: "I also want to hear from players, fans, sponsors and others who love football because they also deserve a say in how FIFA operates. The game belongs to them as well.

"I want to turn the pyramid upside down so the national associations, players, coaches, officials, fans and sponsors are on the top and the FIFA president is there to serve and protect them and the game.

"If I am elected...I will not attempt to shift blame or dodge my responsibility for the actions of FIFA."

Michael van Praag of the Netherlands, former FIFA official Jerome Champagne and former Portugal forward Luis Figo are also due to challenge incumbent Sepp Blatter at the May 29 presidential election.

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