Prince William is currently the president of the English football association. The prince attended today’s cup final tie between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Wembley stadium today and he used the occasion to speak up about the corruption allegations that have rocked the “beautiful game” this week.
According to ITV News, Prince William gave a speech to football association delegates immediately before today’s match at Wembley and used the occasion to highlight what he called “a huge disconnect between the sense of fair play that guides those playing and supporting the game, and the allegations of corruption that have long lingered around the management of the sport internationally.
According to Sky News Prince William spoke directly about this week’s events in Zurich were a total of 18 people were arrested as a result of corruption allegations at the heart of soccer. The prince compared the corruption scandal engulfing football’s world governing body to the allegations of bribery that plagued the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics bid in 2002.
“[T]he events in Zurich this week represent FIFA’s Salt Lake City moment, when the International Olympic Committee went through a similar period of serious allegations.
“FIFA, like the IOC, must now show that it can represent the interests of fair play and put the sport first.”
The prince did not make any comments about the re-election of Sepp Blatter as FIFA President but he did praise the decision of former Manchester United chief executive David Gill who resigned as vice-president of FIFA in protest at Blatter’s controversial re-election.
Prince William seems to be in agreement with Michel Platini, the president of the European football body who has called on Blatter to resign. Mr. Blatter’s defiance has raised the possibility of European teams boycotting the next World Cup, due to be held in Russia in 2018.
The U.S. Department of Justice has charged four people over alleged bribes totalling more than $150 million in the scandal, and a top American investigator has said he was “fairly confident” there would be more arrests in the scandal.
It would seem that Prince William will follow his father Prince Charles in speaking out about issues that are important to him.
Prince William is a fan of Aston Villa football club who were beaten 4-0 by Arsenal in todays big match. Shortly after the match a video vine emerged showing the prince trying and failing to hide his disappointment at his teams poor showing in today’s game.
[Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images]