By Emily Goddard

National Federations are said to be calling on Princess Haya to stand for a third term as FEI PresidentNovember 7 - The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) today claimed representatives from National Federations on four continents are making calls for its President Princess Haya to stand for a third term following her announcement she will step down next year.

With members continuing to lobby for a change to the FEI statutes that would allow the President to stay on for a third term, representatives from Belgium, Mauritius, Sudan, Chinese Taipei, the United States and Jamaica are said to have made "passionate" speeches - while the Jordanian former Olympian was out of the room - during today's FEI General Assembly in Montreux.

Ironically, it was Princess Haya, daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan, herself who introduced the two four-year terms limit on the FEI President's time in office when she was first elected to lead equestrian sport's world governing body in 2006.

Despite this, the FEI claimed 100 of its 132 member federations have signed a petition calling for an Extraordinary General Assembly as soon as possible in order to amend the regulations to allow Princess Haya to remain in office, and in doing so retain her International Olympic Committee (IOC) membership.

Princess Haya is married to United Arab Emirates ruler Mohammed bin Rashid Al MaktoumPrincess Haya is married to United Arab Emirates ruler Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

The FEI Bureau, which met immediately after the General Assembly, has agreed that the Extraordinary General Assembly will be held on the second day of the FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne on April 29 next year.

"It's ironic to think that, from the media perspective, we were told that we would be coming here to seek her [Princess Haya's] resignation, but in reality we're seeking her return," United States Equestrian Federation secretary general John Long said.

Princess Haya's statement in September attempted to put to bed any rumours that she would seek a third term at the head of the organisation, as she said her "views on the benefits of a two-term limit have not changed since the day I was elected".

The move followed reports the previous week that claimed the Swiss and Dutch equestrian Federations would oppose any changes to the FEI statutes allowing her to seek a third term because of her alleged "conflict of interest" as wife of United Arab Emirates ruler Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, whose endurance and horse racing operations have been implicated in a string of doping scandals.

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