Jordan angry with ANP soccer chief for supporting Blatter

MPs call for banning Palestinian Rajoub from entering Kingdom

01 June, 11:49

    (ANSAmed) - AMMAN, JUN 1 - Jordanian politicians and supporters of prince Ali in FIFA elections have vented their anger at President of the Palestinian Football Federation, Jibril Rajoub, who was accused of lobbying against the prince among Arab federations to vote for Joseph Blatter.

    Hours after prince Ali withdrew from FIFA race, members of the Jordanian parliament have called for banning Rajoub from entering the kingdom, the only Arab country that borders the Palestinian territories.

    "Position of Rajoub is disgraceful. We can not accept any execuse from him and the Palestinian authority for supporting Blatter," said MP Rudeina al Atee, who called for preventing Rajoub from entering the kingdom.

    The Palestinian soccer chief was overheard as saying " I would have a heart attack of prince Ali wins," according to Jordanian media, which also emphasized his exuberant celebration when Blatter was officially declared president of FIFA for next four years.

    "We are proud of prince Ali. Raise your chin up," she added.

    Prince Ali stood little chances of ousting Blatter after Asia and Africa announced their backing for the 79 year old Swiss, but Rajoub lobbying against the prince and his manners at FIFA congress provoked supporters of Ali, young brother of king Abdullah.

    The controversial Palestinian figure was also lambasted for his move to withdraw a request to suspend Israel from FIFA over its settlement activities in occupied Arab lands.

    Israeli officials saw Rajoub move as victory for the right wing government, which had threatened retaliation measures of the request was not withdrawn.

    Meanwhile, Prince Ali received a hero welcome at Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) upon his return to the Kingdom late Sunday.

    The King commended Prince Ali's efforts and courageous stances during his election campaign for FIFA presidency, "which reflected a high sense of responsibility and keenness to elevate the Kingdom's status in international sports arena", a Royal Court statement said. The king lauded prince Ali vision to develop football on all aspects and would remain much respected by those who are keen to support the sport, added the statement.

    Dignitaries from local sports clubs, and national teams joined hundreds other supporters as they chanted name of the prince, who lost to Joseph Blatter after an eventful week that rattled FIFA and threatened the election process amid calls for boycott.

    Prince Ali thanked those who supported him, and said that Jordan earned a good reputation and the world's respect through the participation in the elections, without giving a hint if he would run in the future, considering he is at a tender age of 38. (ANSAmed)
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