Paris - FIFA's outgoing leadership hit back Thursday at
criticism of its spending on poorer football nations by one of the potential
candidates to head the world body.
Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, a former FIFA vice president
considering a run to replace Sepp Blatter as president told AFP in an interview
this week that the global body should be spending "a hell of a lot
more" on football development.
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke called the comments
"It was also surprising, to say the least, given that
he served as the deputy chairman of FIFA's development committee from October
2011 to March 2013," Valcke said in a statement to AFP.
"Football development is FIFA's first pillar,"
"We are spending more than ever on the game around the
world, redistributing resources from the FIFA World Cup into development
programmes everywhere to reduce the gap between the strong and weak footballing
Also read: Prince Ali says fans want Blatter out
He said that since 1999, FIFA has provided its member
associations and confederations with more than $2 billion in development funds.
FIFA now earns more than $5 billion in the four years
between each World Cup and Valcke said that "development-related
expenses" reached a record $1 billion for the 2011-2014 cycle. He said
"strict financial controls" have been put in place by the scandal-tainted
world body on how the money is spent.
Prince Ali said FIFA should be spending up to 80 percent of
the money it earns on stadiums and equipment for the 209 member federations.
"That's where FIFA can serve. I think they can give a hell of a lot more
back -- excuse my language."
FIFA president Sepp Blatter will stand down when a special
election is held in February. The prince is considering joining the battle
against UEFA leader Michel Platini, Brazilian football great Zico and Liberian
football association chief Musa Bility in running for the presidency.For
the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us
on Twitter and like our Facebook page.