tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 4, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm EST
soccer agency spa. the justice department announced war indictments against corruption. here's the announcement from the attorney general loretta lynch. >> the new charges unsealed today highlight corruption schemes principally involved in soccer officials essential and south america and a sports marketing company is based in south america and the united states. now, consistent with the generational nature of the corruption schemes, they have payments related to the tournaments that have already been played as well as matches scheduled into the next decade including multiple cycles of fifa world cup qualifiers and international friendly matches involving six central american member associations. ..
vice chair of the national press club speakers committee. skipping over our speaker for a moment, laurie russo, president of stanton communications at the national press club speaker committee member who organized today's event. thank you. lori lindsey, a retired member of the u.s. national team. molly mccluskey come independent foreign correspondent at the national press club board member. yasmin, coach of the national press club's membership committee and washington correspondent for the kuwait news agency. i news anchor and political mediator. martin, u.s. they bureau chief for the dpa german press agency.
[applause] >> i also want to welcome the audience here today in our very full national press club ballroom and want to welcome our audiences watching on c-span, and listening on public radio stations. you can follow the action today on twitter. use the hashtag npc live, and we will re-tweet ukp tweet about this lunch as well. use that hashtag, npc live. well, professional sports are no stranger to scandal. after dealing with deflate the gate earlier this year, the national football league is now in the midst of a controversy
over officiating. major league baseball, of course, endured a widespread doping problem, and you can forget lance armstrong and the effect is a scandal had on professional cycling? but few controversies are as dramatic or as far-reaching as hidtas. earlier this year several officials of the international soccer federation were arrested in zurich and charged with bribery, money-laundering, and racketeering. a 47 count indictment charged 14 soccer and marketing officials with corruption dating back nearly a quarter of a century. since then, three of fifa's leading officials including vice president have received provisional bands from the organization. soccer, or as anyone outside of the united states calls it,
football, is just beginning to recover from this below to its reputation. well, today's speaker wants to have a hand in renewing the world's faith in fifa. prince ali bin al hussein submitted began in may when he challenged sitting fifa president sepp blatter in an astonishing election. he then withdrew before a second round of voting took place. despite his victory, blatter announced it would resign from his fifa post amid the scandal. so our guest is again running for the presidential seat in a special election that is scheduled for this coming february 2016. he vows to enact significant changes if he is the victor. among them he wants to open fifa's books and reveal any redisplay undisclosed financial
documents, including payments made to top fifa officials. the organization, he says, is at rock-bottom, but it's not broken. the son of the late king hussein and queen alia of jordan, prince ali was educated in jordan, the united kingdom, and in the u.s. he also served in the jordanian special forces and in the royal guard. he currently directs of jordan's national crisis management center, and he chairs the royal film commission. please join me in giving a warm national press club welcome to his royal highnesses, and ali bin hussein, of jordan. [applause]
>> good afternoon. it's always a pleasure to be back in the united states, and it is a real honor to be with you at the national press club. i would just like to start by offering my deepest condolences to the friends and families of the victims in san bernardino. the entire civilized world shares a sense of loss over this horrific act of senseless violence. this country, its people, and its values have had a big influence on me or my experiences as a student here during my former used help shape my character and my values. this setting also has special significance for me, speaking
from this prestigious platform has become something of a family tradition. my late father was a repeat visitor. my brother, his majesty king abdullah, and my step mother, queen noor, have also been guests of the national press club. i have another family connection to the press club as a former journalist and a former gore spot for cnn, my wife would have loved to be here today. i am pleased that one of our cnn colleagues, barbara starr, could be with us. and barbara, i can assure you that she is not lost the feisty spirit that carter expelled from iraq in 2003 at the beginning of the war. i convinced her to go back during the most challenging times in the country. in fact, she is past the spirit onto our two children. i am reminded of that every time to act tough. [laughter]
i'm not here today to talk about weighty issues of war and peace. under to talk about football. by that, of course, i mean the round ball. otherwise known as soccer, but let's just call it football. it is often said a special by people who don't know much we care for it at football is just a game. that is technically accurate, but it is a very special game. no other sport generates so much passion among so many people around the world. that passion can be a powerful force for good on multiple levels. we have several people here today with us who example by the positive aspects of sport, including a friend at the head table, mary harvey, the starting goalie for the u.s. national team that won the very first fifa limits cup in 1991, as well as the gold medal at the 1996 olympics.
[applause] mary is an inspiring role model, a true trailblazer in football. her legacy lives on in the remarkable performance by the towards the u.s. team in the 2015 women's world cup. the positive power football does not derive from fifa's headquarters in zurich. fifa does not own again. football belongs to the players, the coaches, the officials come and hundreds of millions of fans around the world. it belongs to the kids who take a homemade ball on a patch of dirt. belongs to the young girls to learn that they can break free of stereotypes limited their mothers options in life. it belongs to young boys around the world who discover that team work, self-discipline, and hard work are far more rewarding than drugs, idleness and life on the
streets. i am running for the fifa presidency because i believe that football deserves a governing body that is worthy of the game. i am ready because i want to be, to see the day when the questions for fifa presidential candidates at a national press club luncheon are about football, not about controversies at fifa. the latest announcement by the u.s. justice department should remove any doubt about the need for reform at fifa. the clock on corruption has run out. and it is time for a change. i reject the notion that fifa cannot be reformed from within. the crisis at fifa is a crisis of leadership. external events are forcing changes on fifa, but change will not be meaningful or sustainable without credible leadership that embraces transparency,
accountability, and the principles of good governance. sustainable change can only come from within, and must be built on consensus. building consensus requires a leader who will work with fifa 209 members, associations to ensure that they take ownership of changes in the organization's structures and culture. let me assure you, they are good and hard-working people within fifa want to be affiliated with an organization that they can be proud of. there is a real genuine desire for change. most of the fifa nevers associations have never sent them team to world cup, that harbor the dreams and aspirations to do so. they are pursuit of those dreams lift the quality of the game for entire nations and creates opportunities for young boys and girls to pursue their own goals. developing football at the grassroots with the right spirit
and the right values leads to improved at the elite level what delivering benefits to players at all levels. good development programs transform football to a game to a lifestyle. together we can learn from each other on how to do that. the united states stands out from the rest of the world with the tremendous support for sports that is built into the educational system, especially at the high school and university levels. the scholarship system has given countless talented young men and women opportunities to pursue athletic careers as part of their education. the u.s. system is a key factor for the success of the u.s. women's national team which provide one of football's highlights in 2015. i was fortunate to be in the stands for the women's world cup final in canada when carly
scored that amazing goals from midfield. in contrast to the strong support for football in the united states, other countries in the region struggle to provide the basics. as you probably know the u.s. is a member of the federation which exist in canada to central america to the caribbean. there are huge disparities within the confederation. for example, i met with football association leaders in the caribbean but do not have the essentials to play the sport. footballs, equipment or adequate pages deploy on. island nations in many parts of the world also struggle with the ability to compete because of a games almost always involve travel by sea or by air. they need and they deserve people's help. fifa has an obligation to support development worldwide without playing politics or showing favoritism in how
development money is distributed. far too long development funding has been used as a favor to be bestow in return for loyalty to fifa's leadership, and occasionally as punishment. depoliticizing development by instituting clear processes and criteria providing development funds is essential to changing the culture at fifa. i no fifa needs to do better on many levels. in 2011 i was elected to represent my region, asia, are the fifa executive committee. with a mandate to push for change and support the development of football. it turned out to be a very frustrating experience that led me to two conclusions. firstly, i could not remain on the executive committee unless fifa changed the way it conducted its business. secondly, i recognize that the
only way to change fifa was a change of leadership. because i love the sport i chose not to take the option of quitting. quitting is simply not in the values i was raised upon. up on. i chose for the option of fighting. that's what i stood for election for the fifa presidency earlier this year when others wouldn't. that's what i'm running again now. by determined to finish what was started. i knew from the start that unseating the incumbent president would not be easy. the culture of rewards and punishments within fifa made it extremely difficult. even so, 73 fifa member associations were brave enough to take that risk. and it is this election is conducted according to the statutes and the committee do their job correctly, at the 209 member associations vote according to their convictions
without outside pressure, then i am certain you will see a very different outcome in february. i was particularly proud of the fact that my earliest nomination for the elections were from england and the united states. under the presidency, the use soccer federation listed if i fifa's leadership at a time when few others dared was a courageous and principled stand. the current campaign has an entirely new dynamic. since last january i have traveled to countries all across the world, large and small. i listened to their member association president. i can assure you that they recognize that the february election is crucial in determining which direction to fifa takes. pass continued controversy, scandal, or the the path that we all desire, to the restoration of fifa's reputation and
credibility. one of the things that disturbed me during my time on the executive committee was the feeling that people -- in fact in the main meeting room for the executive committee, three stories underground, great and with no natural light, that setting with sentiment of fifa's entire approach to governance and its outlook. i want to work with a member associations to build a structure and a culture at fifa that is outward looking and operates in accordance with practices that are fit for the 21st century. as a first step we need to adopt principles of good governance and transparency in actions and not just in words. i will immediately take steps to publish the minutes of executive committee meetings, making sure they are accurate and institute proper disclosure of financial information.
of also make public the full findings of the dossier or report. these steps cannot be called reform no guessing as an achievement. they are the most basic set of acceptable norms of good governance today. fifa also needs a structural changes. its commercial army to be separate from its sporting side. i can guarantee there will no longer be any secretive or no bit processors. fifa needs established a hike -- highly qualified and fully committed working group to focus on the develop of the sport which is the essence of what fifa should be about. fifa needs tournament for elected officials to clear the way for new leadership and new ideas. two consecutive terms for the president as well as the executive committee members is enough. and age limit should not be an issue tha but it can be considea
form of discrimination. if someone is capable of doing a good job when they should have that opportunity. and that principle should apply to young people as well as more senior people. fifa pittsburgh provide more opportunity for others with football to avoid, within for automatic voice there as a member of executive committee i party for the representation of players, clubs, and coaches here and also recognize the importance of professional leagues around the world as the backbone of our sport. fifa is the umbrella for football worldwide, for the rules of the game, for the world cup's, and most importantly, for the development and continued growth of the sport. for 29 209 national associations are the real owners of fifa. the league football and they are the even the congress. they decide the future of fifa and fifa can only move forward
as an organization with their support and full participation. we cannot let problems of fifa make a cynical about the game. football can literally change lives. it teaches self-discipline and the value of hard work. it encourages teamwork. it empowers our youth, both boys and girls. it brings people together. i have experienced the positive power of football many times and in many places. nearly five years ago i established the asian football develop a project, a nonprofit ngo to support the development of football throughout asia. for example, working with other ngos and governments, the project has both the benefits of football to the victims of human trafficking in cambodia to syrian refugees in my own country of jordan, and two children in even the most remote areas. i would take this concept working with ngos and
governments for real football social responsibility globally through fifa. as the most popular sport in the world, football is sometimes a target. it was no coincidence that the terrorists in paris attack along with cafés and a music club in targeting locations integral to french life. in january of this year isis gunned down 13 iraqi teenagers in mosul% of watching a televised football match between the national teams iraq and jordan. the football associations in afghanistan, libya and somalia have been under attack, yet they continue to provide opportunities for their fellow citizens to enjoy football. the governments of nigeria is another great example in action, using football to deradicalize former members of boko haram.
football is more than just a game. football is a culture. it is a language understood worldwide. football bridges race, culture, religion, ethnicity, and is an incredible catalyst for unity instead of division. it deserved a governing body that is worthy of respect. that's what motivates me to seek the presidency of fifa. that is my mission, and the mission of all the football associations, players, officials, coaches and fans who want to see fifa for what it should be, a real, credible and trustworthy service organization for the game. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you so much, your highness. several questions about the
level of scandal, i guess come at fifa. and let me just give you a flavor of a couple of them. to the latest indictments of fifa officials for alleged corruption show that fifa at the confederations are beyond saving? and what has to be done to rebuild fifa and restore confidencconfidenc e of fans and owners? can fifa recover the confidence of fans? so basically saying, are these problems so severe, it is fifa beyond saving? >> first of all, it is not beyond saving. at the end of the day we do need a change of leadership at the top. i mean, it is a change of culture that we need. and that will permeate down throughout the structure. having said that, the way to look at this as we have to turn fifa into a real service
organization, reversed the pyramid so put the priorities of our players, our fans on the sport at the top of the pyramid. at the end of the day you have your 209 national associations. they will not change their structures and what have you. you have had a change within the governing body itself. and it's okay to ask for help, and i will do that. and i think that if we really focused and we have a different change of culture, then we can get things done. and if the mandate comes from the congress, it will happen. thank you. >> how about getting down some levels down into a national soccer federation's? how would you laid fifa and working with the federations to limit the amount of corruption occurring within countries around the world? and do you believe that fifa is the problem here, or does the problem, doesn't the corruption
go down to the continental and national federations as well? >> well, i think in order to tackle corruption you to deal with the national associations on the ground. each country has a different system, a different way of doing things. particularly right now they have a drip fed system and fifa were they give support and they give aid. but we have to do a real program where you go into the country and to do with their needs, and you help them along the way and judge them by how they act. so i think that it really has to be much more of a hands on approach, and a follow-up and working with people in local areas, as well as engage with governments and other stakeholders. and primarily not to turn a blind eye, which is exactly what are the problems that has been the case, when convenient, up till now.
>> with the recent arrest by swiss officials just yesterday, people are not wondering if the cleaning up of fifa is done, but rather who is next, this questioner says. at its presidential elections approach to our rules in place to prevent outsiders from running. if the rules protect the award in fifa from outside competition, where an outside candidate could bring real change to an organization that badly needs it, then why should the fans believe that fifa is serious about cleaning up the corruption not just within the game but within its own walls? long questioned the basically saying if you can have outside candidates, can you really guarantee that the corruption is going to be cleaned up? >> well, we have had outside help in fifa and that's exactly the problem. we've had, first of all, mark who came in to help with reform. we've had michael garcia and so
one. dominica was also someone who came in to work on proposals for reform, and a even a reform committee within fifa itself. but all along the problem was that those recommendations were never implemented. and that's the crisis that we have. so we have all these recommendations out there that you need to guarantee that you have someone who can implement them. and if you do, then things go well from there. >> this questioner notes about your proposals for change in fifa are far-reaching and fundamental, according to this person. at how would you get a supportive board that will allow you to make these changes? >> if you have the mandates of you can work. and that's the way that things are. that is the reality. but quite frankly these are not
far-reaching ideas. these are the real basics and norms of good governance for any organization anywhere in the world. and we have to adopt it. i do believe though that this election this time is crucial. one of the reasons why it's so important, obviously to save fifa is because it is of the umbrella for football all over the world. and it would be a real shame to be dragged down by these people. and that's why this is the opportunity to get it right. and if we don't this time, then we will be in real serious trouble. >> give us a quick lay of the land on your election to as i understand, there's five candidates of total and you're actively campaigning. how confident are you? how to is the field quite easily going to come down to you and want other, or just give us a state of play in the race as you see at. >> are not playing the politics.
i'm going out and i'm talking to a national associations. i have a different method of doing it, by looking at their needs as well and taking what's important and put it as part of a manifesto which i will be coming out with soon. at the end of the day, i believe that if things are done correctly and each national association has the right without pressure to make their own decisions, then i think that i will be the candidate who wins this election. ..
are ashamed to where the fifa right now they want to improve the image of fifa. there are a lot of people from younger generations who want to be involved as well in decisionmaking in fifa so, if we get things right, i think that the future is bright. >> u.s. soccer supported you in your first campaign for the presidency, but has not taken a position in this campaign. do you expect to get u.s. support again? >> well, i think that's a question for -- but i definitely look forward and hope to get the support of u.s. soccer and have
the chance to speak with obviously the board as well. as well as support from the con -- concaf region. i'll be looking forward to have a chance to have a conversation with stakeholders in u.s. soccer, and i have a lot of friends among them. >> the questioner says defend the one country vote and should the votes be made public. >> i think that obviously one vote per country is a must, and everybody -- everyone has the right to have a vote with that. as for being made public, i would certainly support it. unfortunately that is not going
to be the case this time around, but maybe for the future. >> your former colleague on the fifa -- has recently led a call for the inclusion of women in gloverrans. >> i support my colleague and it is an important step that they -- some of the reforms they proposed to have a woman's representative from each confederation. there should be women's representation on each national association as well. but it is a small step, and there is a lot more that can be done. we do want to reach a day where there shouldn't be a quota for anyone, but this is a very good start, i believe, and women's
football is one of the biggest growth areas within the game, and we have to do all we can to promote women's football, and for ourselves in jordan, we're very proud to be hosting the under 17 women's world cup, and it's the first time that a tournament like that take place in our region, so i together we can do so much more for women's football. >> in 2014, the german men took home over 35 million in prize money for the world cup title. this is a stark contrast to the 2 million the u.s. women won. what are your thoughts on the gender pay inequality and do you have any plans to close this gap and to support and grow the women's game? >> sure. i think that's a very big issue right now. obviously what happened in canada was not reflective of the amount of support for the world cup itself, and we have to look
at changing those dynamics. i've been in discussions with colleagues in women's football. at the same time, one of the things we do see within fifa, and honestly within national associations, is a worry that if you invest more in women's football, somehow it takes away from investment in the men's game, which is totally incorrect. and, therefore, we have to have a lot more emphasis and really give the women's side of the game more independence because that will just help to get them moving in the way they want. >> this questioner says there seems to be a contradiction between fifas interest in supporting women's development in soccer internationally and allowing countries that discriminate against women to participate in approval of fifa events. as president would you allow
these nations to continue participating? what steps would you take to ensure this discrimination ends? >> well, i think we have to work against discrimination in all ways, shapes and forms, everywhere in the world, and that also includes racial discrimination, which is still a very big part, unfortunately, of football around the world. again, as for women's football, you have to lead by example, and i think that's what we're doing, for example, in jordan, and we will push as much as we can to get women's participation more and more in the game. >> this questioner says you spoke a lot about the development of the game. what exactly does the development of the game mean to you, and then this person says, took the world cup to brazil, russia and qatar in the name of
football's development in a negative way from the questioner's perspective. what do you mean by development and what would be your approach in this? >> well, development means giving the opportunity to all our players around the world. again, you have to work on a case-by-case basis. i'd like to see, for example, a dedicated national stadium to football in every country in the world. also in development, you have to get out the basics, the pitches, the kids, that everybody needs, and there's also human aspect to development. a player's career span is not that long, and around the world, there is a big need for approaches and so on to train and in different areas but not not be able to afford the salary us. so fifa can set up a scholarship program to bring those coaches and so on and let them participate in give their experiences to other parts of
the world. at the same time taking coaches from developing countries and football and giving them experience alongside clubs or teams outside, and i put this also to meeting of the leagues the other day in paris. and that where is you can get that human dimension going on as well. so not just classroom work but real physically being there and learning from the sport. and the rest you leave up to the players on the pitch. >> this questioner said you have said you agree with holding the next two world cups in russia and cut to but what immediate steps will you take to address the doping scandal and the human rights violations which are very much ongoing and would you consider taking away the 2022 world cup from qatar? >> there are investigations obviously underway, but obviously what i've said is that i believe in the right of every country to host the world cup,
and the decision was made on russia and on qatar, but we have to make sure that in the future mistakes are not made. the idea of a double bid was in my opinion a mistake. we have to look at the bidding process and how it transpires so when you send out teams to look at countries, base the decision on their recommendations as to the country has the best potential to host the world cup, but most importantly, as we have seen, for example, with -- they have made the promises to deal with the issue of workers rights, and obviously if i'm president i would be there to guarantee they're actually implemented. and obviously we have to have within fifa set standards for any bidding nation, which includes human rights and workers rights.
>> what specific internal controls would you -- to make sure fifa comply with anti-bribery and anticorruption laws? >> well, we have within fifa obviously an ethics committee. we have to make it and support it to be really robust and do its job, and to the best of its ability. the rules are there but the problem is with implementation, and we have to take the examples of what is happening now and make sure that applies across the board, across the world. >> you said your speech would not be on the weighty issues of war and parches this questioner wonders if football could have a role in creating more world peace? >> well, i think it does already, and we have seen how
football being the most popular sport in the world, and being really the common language of the world, whereafter you -- wherever you go is a real force for good, and therefore i think that if we get things right at fifa and get things going in the right way, there is so much more that can be done. and then if we have a good reputation, if we reach the day when nobody really knows who the fifa president and is we know we're going' in -- going in the right direction. then again we'll have hopefully restored the confidence from sponsors and others and just stand what we have on developing the game across the world. >> this questioner says: soccer or football does belong to the world, and what are the specific steps you can take to include the voices and opinions of dedicated fans in fifa decisions? how do you reach out to those fans? >> well, i've been listening to
them quite a bit as of late, but obviously the fans are our base, and we have to listen to them and also to help out as much as possible with the fans across the world because there are lot of problems even when it comes to stadiums in different parts of the world. sometimes the issue of ticket prices as well, and i would like really to have obviously to have a way of incorporating them and their needs, and to make sure that fifa should be an open body for anyone who is concerned with the game to come and give their ideas and their open hopes and share their problems and for us to work on serving their needs. >> how do you intend on bringing the game of football to big cities in north america and when will we see a jordanian soccer team come to the u.s. to play an
exhibition game or two against a major league soccer team? >> well, definitely i think football is picking up all over the world. i mean, football in the u.s. is a lot different to what it was when i was studying here, in high school. so i've seen how great the progress is, and i think it's matter of time where it's embraced in the major cities, and there's a lot of other aspects to football, such as -- street soccer where you can -- which has a lot of appeal in other parts of the world and can be very relevant to cities as well. as for jordan, yeah, we'd love to come and play. obviously, national teams in the united states at some point, and even possibly our club teams as well. and hopefully maybe our women's national team.
but i'm not -- i'd like to thank mary harvey for taking care of our under 17 women's team who came out earlier in the year. so there's a lot of cooperation and coordination there, and we along forward to also hosting the u.s. and jordan at some point in the future. >> you mentioned that soccer, football, is catching on in the united states. certainly much more than when we were young in the united states. but this questioner points out that football, basketball, and baseball, still rule the sporting world in the united states. why do you think professional or international soccer hasn't caught on more than it has? why hasn't it captured american hearts and minds like it has in so many other places around the world? >> i think that it does take time, and it is -- i guess it takes time for the tradition of
soccer to really catch on. at the same time i think all sports compliment each other and should never be viewed as a competition between one or the other. but certainly it's picking up, and i think that results are also very crucial. one of the biggest pushes for women's football is the result you have had on the pitch, and i'm sure hopefully the men's team also has some great results, then you see a big difference in the last world cup i think all across the u.s. there was such a great following of what they've done, so i think it's a matter of time, and i'm sure that they'll get there. >> given another question about changing the culture within fifa. this questioner says, how do you rally support from fifa members who are used to corruption? do you believe members will be willing to depoliticize if it means they will lose privileges?
>> i think that, again, if we do implement things such as term limits, i do know that there is a recommendation from the reform committee to have a three-term limit that only starts in the next three years or whenever the next elections are. so, i'm not sure if that's really the right approach to things. but if you have term limits, you give the opportunity for others, obviously, to come in. i think there's a big desire worldwide to really have a new generation of people in football. what might have been acceptable 20, 30 years ago, is definitely not acceptable to us now. and i think that realization is sinking in. but again, if you have that leadership on top, it does not turn a blind eye to things, and that protects the rights of national associations as well, then it will change, i believe,
very quickly. >> should more individual players try to take a role in fifa to dissuades corruption in fifa or its leadership or should the player us just stick to football? >> it's our job to protect the players. the players shouldn't have to deal with this. it's sad situation if it comes to that point, so at the end of the day no, we have to serve them, and that's our job, and that's it. >> we have spent a lot of time asking you questions about corruption at fifa, and in fact even some questions about fifa can be -- whether fifa can be saved. setting that aside for a moment, there are some things when you look at fifa that you see
they're doing right and do you think fifa has been successful in growing the world's game of football in the recent decades? >> sure. obviously i think fifa has done a lot of things, especially in terms of its staff and it administration, and it's very unfortunate for them as well to be lumped with a lot of things that have been going on, and there have been development projects, maybe -- i sort of think we can do a lot more instead of having a drip-feed system where national associatings have to keep coming back to fifa, don't get the entire packages they need to develop their sport, and support football for national associations. if you have good, strong football associations who have their dignity and who are self-sustainable, then you're going have a strong organization, and you're going to take people away from
corruption or doing practices that are not correct. that's my belief. and so i think that there are positives. what is working, we're not going fix, but there is so much more we can do. >> this questioner asks about your role as a member of royal family, a very storied well-known royal family, and wonders if leading fifa would have even greater political interest than your predecessor as being part of a royal family? not sure exactly what they mean by that phrasing but let me ask you, as being a member of a royal family in this fifa election, does that set up any particular advantages or road blocks for you as you go about your campaign? >> well, first of all, there is no royalty in football. and that's the way it should be. i'm here just as a person to do
the job because i love the sport, and i grew up loving it in my country, and working with my own football association in jordan, and i got involved with them maybe at a time when i was the average age of our football player and therefore had a different perspective and took their opinions to board meetings, not the other way around and that's the same festival i go by -- the same philosophy i go by tonight. but again are there's no royalty in football, and i dislike politics and the most important thing is to get on with things and get the job done. >> one nonfootball question here. you are a member of the jordanian government. this questioner has a question about what is jordan doing to diversify its economy during such a volatile time for the region?
that could mean many things, volumetive times. let me drill down in one specific area. is a understand jordan is taking in extremely large number of syrian refugees, having an effect on the country. how are you handling the influx of the refugees and how is that affecting the jordanian economy and life in jordan going forward? >> well, first of all, i'm not a member of the jordanian government at all. but i think jordan is going through a very, very difficult time, with the crisis in our region, as or others of our neighbors, including lebanon and so on. it's a difficult neighborhood too be in. regarding the refugees, we have done, as is our tradition, to obviously do what we can for our neighbors and help them out as much as possible, but it is a very difficult time for jordan,
for its economy, but at the end of the day, jordan, being a country without any natural resources, has really invest evidence itself into its people, and that's where we have our greatest strength, our education, and to have a real hard-working community, and that is a direction we have always gone. and we'll get through this just fine. we'll do all we can to help our neighbors, particularly right now the syrian refugees. and on that note, we have used football as a great tool to helping them out because as refugees, when they first came into jordan, we realizeled you give them the basic services but you have all these kids and they're the majority, young boys and girls work have nothing to do with their time. so we teams up with different governments as well as ngos to
introduce football to boys and girls, as well as teaching them skills like awareness and so on, and i think the unacr will tell you it's one of the most successful programs that has happened to refugees anywhere in the world, and something that unfortunately if the situation arises that will be emulated elsewhere. >> we are almost out of time, but before i ask the last question, i have some housekeeping. the national press club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists and we fight for a free press worldwide. to learn more about the club, go to our web site, press.org. and to donate to our nonprofit journalism institute, visit press.org/institute. i'd like to remind you about other events that are happening at the national press club.
today, in fact just down the hallway, in the bloomberg room, the national press club is publicly reading articles by "washington post" reporter jason rezaian for 24 consecutive hours. we began at 7:00 a.m. we're continuing until 7:00 a.m. tomorrow, the club is doing this to draw attention to the 501 days jason has been unjustly held in an iranian prison, and reading the articles is a reminder to the world that jason rezaian is a reporter, a journalist, and he is not anything else, and he should not be in jail. on tuesday, and please, stop in the room on your way out. it's very interesting to sit and listen to a couple articles. on tuesday, december 8th, david escorten, the new secretary of the smithsonian
institution will address a national press club luncheon. i'd other now like to present the national press club's world cup to our speaker. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> that is very valuable and it travels very well, as you go around the world, and talk about your candidacy for the presidency. so, final question, i understand that you are a dedicated arsenal fan. that's the team in the u.k. league, that in britain? arsenal? go arsenal. of course, you are now running for president of fifa, so do you need to pledge, and if so are you going to make that pledge today, that you're going to set aside your preferences for arsenal. no more rooting for arsenal because as the president of fifa
you need to root for everybody so it is bye-bye to the arsenal? >> look, huh -- to run for fifa president, i will promise to dedicate my whole self to the organization, and football around the world, but over my dead body will i give up my support for arsenal. thank you. [applause] >> how about another round of applause for our speaker. [applause] >> i want to thank you for coming, your royal highness, and thank you for answering so many direct questions, and we hope you'll come back soon to the
national press club. you're allowed a new mug every time you come. so, a lot of people like to build the collection over time, and we want to encourage you to do that as well. i'd also like to thank the national press club staff, including it's journalism institute and broadcast center, for organizing today's event. if you would like a copy of today's program or to learn more about the national press club, go to our web site, that's press.org, and again, to learn more about our nonprofit, the national press club journalism institute, the web site is press.org/institute. thank you very much. we are adjourned. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
yesterday the u.s. department of justice charged fifa officials in connection with their par tis nation a 24 year scheme. that from a justice department news release. and in paris today, ten democratic senators led by ben carden, a member of the -- to attend the climate change summit underway. the senator's office releasing a statement which says in part, on climate change we're approaching a now or never moment. u.s. leadership has played a critical role in bringing to us this time in history and we will not walk away from this global opportunity. no country is immune from the. i packets of climate change. if we fail to act no future generation will be protected if this generation does not act
responsibly. also on the trip to paris, senators from colorado, massachusetts, new hampshire, minnesota, as well as cory booker of new jersey, chris coons of delware, and oregon and hawai'i. >> coming up this weekend on c-span, saturday night at 9:00 eastern, the nation magazine holds a discussion on inequality in america, and what that means for society. speakers include "the nation" editor, former labor secretary roberter reich, and white house adviser ann jones. >> you have the racial justice leg which has no home and has no candidate, and you're talking about the dreamers, on the latino side, the "black lives matter" movement, idle no more month native americans, a racial justice third wing of the party with no candidate and no voice, and not even the pretense