AFC backs Shaikh Salman for FIFA presidency

New Delhi, Nov 27 (IANS) Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa’s campaign to become the next FIFA president was unanimously supported by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Executive Committee meeting here on Friday.

The members of the AFC Executive Committee passed a resolution urging all member associations to unite behind and support Shaikh Salman in his efforts to be elected as the first president from Asia of world football’s governing body FIFA.

The meeting expressed the utmost confidence in Shaikh Salman’s ability to restore FIFA’s punctured credibility due to recent financial mismanagement allegations.

They added that Shaikh Salman has demonstrated his leadership qualities since taking over as the AFC president and it was crucial to elect Shaikh Salman as he was “someone who could rebuild FIFA and make FIFA better in the future”.

The Executive Committee also pledged to work through its member associations to ensure the necessary support for Shaikh Salman’s candidacy.

“We discussed at our last meeting in July the FIFA Presidential elections set for 2016. Since then, the date of 26 February 2016 has been confirmed and five candidates have been validated so far by the FIFA Ad Hoc Electoral Committee, following the integrity check performed by the FIFA Ethics Committee,” Shaikh Salman said in an AFC statement on Friday.

“As you know, things move fast in football politics and at the end of October I decided to put my name forward as a candidate. I would never have done this without your support and without the backing of the AFC member associations.”

“For this reason I wrote to all AFC Executive Committee members in October to ask your opinion about whether I should stand or not. The response was overwhelmingly positive, as it was from the AFC Member Associations in general, and I would like to thank you all for your trust,” he added.

Shaikh Salman expressed his gratitude for the support received and said he will try his best to restore FIFA’s battered pride.

“It is a big support for my campaign, as well as an honour for me, to have the endorsement and full backing of the AFC Executive Committee. Since you are the elected representatives of the AFC member associations, it also sends a strong message that Asia is behind one candidate.”

“I thank you for your support and invaluable advice. I am confident that the next President of FIFA will be from Asia. This would not only be a recognition of the ever increasing role that Asia and Asian football has, but also will allow us to have a say in shaping a better future for this great game.”

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