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Prince Feisal Al Hussein supports Vatanan in FIA presidency bid

Amman, Jordan - While F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone announced his support for Jean Todt's bid for the FIA presidency yesterday (25th of September), we were informed today that another high-caliber motor-sport official from the Middle East will be supporting Ari Vatanen.

HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein, the pioneering leader of sport in Jordan, has accepted an invitation from FIA Presidential candidate Ari Vatanen to join his election campaign as his proposed Vice President Sport (Middle East).

HRH Prince Feisal, Chairman of Jordan Motorsport, President of the Jordan Olympic Committee (JOC) and Chairman and Founder of Generations For Peace, has become a major influential figure in motoring after steering his country’s successful bid to become the first Arab country in the modern era to host a round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).

And now the Prince, widely regarded as a unifying figurehead in the region when it comes to sport in general, has been invited by the 1981 World Rally Driving Champion to join his proposed powerful revolution should the Finn be elected to replace the retiring President, Max Mosley, on October 23.

“It was an honour to be asked and I have been hugely impressed by the manifesto that Ari has submitted to make sweeping changes to the way that motoring is run globally,� said HRH Prince Feisal. “He is a man with integrity and experience and would make an outstanding President for an exciting and challenging era for the motoring world, particularly in increasing the Arab World’s and West Asia’s participation and representation on the FIA.

“With 50 per cent of our region under the age of 16, it is important that the FIA plays a more engaging role in the future of our youth.

“As President of the JOC and founder of Generations For Peace, I believe in the power of sport when it comes to social development and we have to be more responsible in the education of our drivers and pedestrians to cut down on the needless deaths and injuries that happen every day of the year.

“We must also build a sustainable future through good governance and transparency by forging a closer relationship between Arab countries to improve mobility and, also, between Arab countries and others across the world.�

HRH Prince Feisal is also eager to see proper bidding structures and processes introduced for countries wishing to join major championships like Formula One and the WRC which he believes will further raise the bar in terms of their quality and organisation.

Vatanen has chosen his vice presidents ahead of his head-to-head election battle with Frenchman, Jean Todt, for the most powerful job in motoring. His manifesto addresses six key areas of motoring from road safety to expanding the support of developing clubs worldwide and highlights that his campaign and Presidency would run on the hallmarks of values, honesty and transparency.

HRH Prince Feisal is the brother of His Majesty King Abdullah II and has been the driving force behind sport in Jordan for a decade. In 2005, he announced that Jordan would bid to join the WRC and his vision became a reality in 2008 when the global roadshow visited the Kingdom for an event that received widespread acclaim. It returns for a second time from April 1-3, 2010. Its Middle East rally will be held from October 29-31.

Motoring has become synonymous with the Hashemite family. His Late Majesty King Hussein, HRH Prince Feisal’s father, introduced motorsport to the Kingdom in the 1950’s and was a keen competitor up until the 1990’s. His Majesty King Abdullah II was also a champion driver while HRH Prince Feisal made a name for himself as a capable co-driver before switching to the organizational side of the sport.

As well as transforming the Kingdom’s motor sporting scene, HRH Prince Feisal has also become a widely respected member of the Olympic community since becoming President of the JOC in 2002.

He has campaigned tirelessly for gender equality in sport which was recognised when he was invited to join the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Women and Sport Commission. This led to Jordan hosting the IOC’s Women and Sport World Conference in 2008 – an event which was hailed as an overwhelming success by the sporting world.

He is also the founder and chairman of Generations For Peace, which runs dedicated peace programmes to empower, train and support leaders of youth from communities in conflict around the world to use the power of sport to unite children and youth from all sides of their divides to contribute towards a sustainable peace. In just two years, the global initiative has reached 34,000 youth and children and trained 3,000 leaders of youth in 28 countries divided by war and conflict.

HRH Prince Feisal has been quick to recognise the power that sport has to promote countries to a worldwide audience and has succeeded in attracting five world championships of various sports to Jordan over the past five years – including the WRC.

He will now support Vatanen to promote the Finn’s bid amongst Arab Automobile Clubs. The October 23 vote will be held by the world’s national motorsport and touring clubs.



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