Prince Ali of Jordan message about Qatar's 2022 World Cup problems.

(WFI) FIFA vice president Prince Ali wants world football's governing body to be more consistent in its message about Qatar's 2022 World Cup problems.

The World Cup in the Gulf state has come under fire following reports about human rights abuses from football leaders, politicians, the International Trade Union Confederation and Amnesty International. Qatar 2022 responded by introducing a workers' charter and insist it is implementing fair standards in the construction of all World Cup venues.

But Prince Ali of Jordan believes that FIFA should be more proactive in engendering change in Qatar.

“It’s a big concern”, he told reporters after attending last week’s FIFA Executive Committee meeting. “Football needs to be a positive medium to improve things and I think that Qatar will do what they have to but we have to encourage them to do so. Decisions need to be made.

“I think the main question is sending one clear message. As FIFA we have to encourage one way, one track. Let them know what we are saying.

“If you read the Arab media, Sheikh Salman says there are no workers' issues in Qatar - and then if you read the English media and I see [Theo] Zwanziger goes to the European Parliament talking about the issues. So, one message needs to be done.”

After the ExCo meeting, German FIFA official Zwanziger urged more discourse with the Gulf nation, saying “in the next fortnight there will be visits by political institutions in Qatar and I have told them we want honest reports.”

Tackling the Israel-Palestine Issue

The Qatar problem is not the only issue in the Middle East troubling FIFA. Since 2011, president Sepp Blatter has been travelling to Israel and Palestine trying to ease problems over the freedom of movement for players and officials in and out of the West Bank. Negotiations have been assisted by the two relevant confederations, UEFA of which Israel is a member, and the AFC for Palestine.

However tensions were exacerbated earlier this year when two teenage Palestinians – Jawhar Nasser Jawhar, 19, and Adam Abd al-Raouf Halabiya, 17 – were maimed after being shot by Israeli security forces while returning home from training. Jawhar was shot 11 times in his feet, Adam was shot once in each foot.

Last year at the FIFA Congress in Mauritius Jibril Rajoub, president of the Palestine football association, expressed his anger at a lack of progress and warned that, without significant progress from Tel-Aviv, he would ask the FIFA Congress in June to expel Israel from membership of FIFA.

Prince Ali confirmed that the issue would be addressed fully at this year’s congress in Sao Paulo, but that Blatter would travel to Israel and Palestine in May.

He said “President Blatter cannot resolve the issue politically, but we have to wait and see. I am not promoting or defending any side. Any member association has the right to put forward their grievances.

“Nobody is better than anyone else, we are talking about the sport. And I am in a very difficult situation where I have to take two boys from Palestine at my own expense, for treatment in Jordan. These are the two who were shot in the legs and set upon by dogs. Why is this happening?”

The head of the Jordan Football Association also stated that both Amnesty International and the U.S. State Department are investigating what happened to the two teenagers.

“Under FIFA statutes you cannot say one country can do one thing and another country can do something else,” he added. It is a very difficult and complicated issue. All we are asking is to allow our young boys and young girls to play the sport. The same rules should apply to Qatar, to Russia and to Israel.”

Blatter has confirmed that he and representatives of UEFA and the Asian confederation will return to the region in May to meet political leaders from both sides including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He hopes the two national associations can sign a memorandum of understanding in Sao Paulo.