From Vikneswaran Raman
MANAMA (Bahrain), Feb 2 (NNN-Bernama) — The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) boss Shaikh Salman Ebrahim Al Khalifa retained his president’s post unopposed at the 33rd AFC Congress, held here Wednesday, as the Asian governing body met physically for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 57-year-old Bahrain royalty’s tenure for the 2023-2027 term, was confirmed by the delegates from 46-member associations (MA) at the Gulf Convention Centre here, according to the confederation’s statutes.
Shaikh Salman will also continue to serve as the FIFA Vice President (ex officio).
Shaikh Salman was first elected as the AFC President in May 2013 during its Extraordinary Congress held here. He was then returned unopposed during the 2015 and 2018 Congress.
Meanwhile, the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) President Hamidin Mohd Amin was elected as one of five AFC representatives to the FIFA Council (male) for the 2023-2027 term after a seven-cornered challenge.
Hamidin, who previously served as AFC Executive Committee member, received 30 votes to win the post, together with Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad Khalifa A. A. Al Thani (40 votes), Japan’s Kohzo Tashima (39), Mariano Areneta Jr. (34) of the Philippines and Yasser H. Almisehal (35) of Saudi Arabia.
Incumbent Du Zhaocai of China and Mong Gyu Chung of South Korea missed out after only managing 18 and 19 votes respectively.
Malaysian King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah had served in the FIFA Council from 2015-2019, while the late Hamzah Abu Samah held the FIFA vice-president’s post for eight years from 1982 until 1990.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino, during his speech, congratulated both Shaikh Salman and the Asian football confederation for an incredible amount of development for the past few years.
He also praised Qatar for the great work in hosting the 2022 World Cup last year, which saw a record six Asian countries compete and for a first time ever, three Asian teams – Australia, Japan and South Korea – advance to the Round of 16.
33rd AFC Congress results:
AFC President and FIFA Vice President (ex officio):
Shaikh Salman Ebrahim Al Khalifa (Bahrain)
AFC Vice Presidents:
1. West Zone: Hachem Haidar (Lebanon)
2. Central Zone: Mehdi Taj (Iran)
3. South Zone: Ugen Tsechup (Bhutan)
4. ASEAN Zone: Zaw Zaw (Myanmar)
5. East Zone: Ganbaatar Amgalanbaatar (Mongolia)
AFC Female Executive Committee Members:
1. West Zone: Susan Riyad Abdelrahim Alshalabi (Palestine)
2. Central Zone: None
3. South Zone: Mahfuza Akhter (Bangladesh)
4. ASEAN Zone: Kanya Keomany (Laos)
5. East Zone: Han Un Gyong (North Korea)
FIFA Council Members
1. Kohzo Tashima (Japan)
2. Hamidin Mohd Amin (Malaysia)
3. Mariano Araneta, Jr. (Philippines)
4. Sheikh Hamad Khalifa A. A. Al Thani (Qatar)
5. Yasser H. Almisehal (Saudi Arabia)
6. Kanya Keomany (Laos) (female)
AFC Executive Committee Members
1. West Zone: Abdullah Ahmed Alshaheen Alrabeea (Kuwait) & Abdullah Nasser Aljneibi (UAE)
2. Central Zone: Irmatov Ravshan (Uzbekistan)
3. South Zone: Bassam Adeel Jaleel (Maldives) & Pankaj Bikram Nembang (Nepal)
4. ASEAN Zone: Chris Nikou (Australia) & Pol. Gen. Somyot Poompanmoung (Thailand)
5. East Zone: Fok, Kai Shan Eric (Hong Kong)
(Note: elections for vacant position to be held later).