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Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The Prince cometh
HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan
Red hot news. The vice president of FIFA and the main man responsible for Asia at the governing body of world football, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, will be in Phnom Penh on Sunday. We will try to get him to drop by the Phnom Penh Crown Open Day we are holding that afternoon, if his schedule permits. If not, then he will still be officially opening the new Cambodia Football Development League for youths at U12/U14/U16 levels that kicks-off at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday morning. Matches will start at 8.30am, the opening ceremony will be at 10am with the Prince speaking. The next morning he flies to Battambang for the main focus of his visit to the country, as his Asian Football Development Project sponsors the Mighty Girls program in the second city, part of the ultra-successful SALT Academy that Crown head coach Sam Schweingruber began six years ago. The Prince will return to Phnom Penh and host a press conference on Tuesday morning at Raffles Le Royal Hotel before flying to Bhutan for the next leg of his trip. To get someone as influential in world and Asian football as he is, to visit Cambodia supporting grassroots and women's football, is a major development and cannot be understated. He is the youngest member of FIFA's senior hierarchy, still in his mid-30s, and the man charged with fair play and social responsibility, most recently championing the lifting of FIFA's ban on the wearing of the hijab in women's football.