Network of… Sepp Blatter
A big believer in harnessing the global appeal and magnetism of football, Sepp Blatter says the sport can contribute to economic and social advancement.
June 24, 2010 4:55 by shafeer
Blatter met with his UAE counterpart last year, UAE Football Association President Mohammed Khalfan Al Rumaithi, during the Arabian Sponsorship Forum 2009 at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. The two share a belief and passion for the sport and a sense of vision about their missions.
“I have an innate love of football and I feel that the UAE has a big potential to become one of the world’s greatest. We have the passion, skills and an unyielding determination to make this happen,” Al Rumaithi enthused.
Earlier last month, the National reported that Rumaithi was forced to deny a report in a British newspaper that speculated the UAE FA was angling to lure Rafael Benitez, the Liverpool coach, to become manager of the national team. The story suggested that the UAE’s big money offer, rumored at GBP5mn in sign on bonus, a salary of GBP4 mn per year, and a nice big mansion on Dubai’s Palm Island would elevate the club’s “profile.” But, Rumaithi scoffed at the suggestion, saying, “I wish we had that kind of money. But even if we did, we will never pay so much for a coach.”