Manama: Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifah officially retained his role as the Asian Football Confederation’s president for a final four-year term yesterday. The Bahraini, who took over at the head of the Asian confederation in 2013 when he was elected to complete the remaining two years of deposed former president Mohamed bin Hammam’s reign, stood unopposed and was elected by acclamation.
His new four-year term will be his last due to limits imposed under the governing body’s statutes and the 57-year-old will have been in charge of Asian football for 14 years by the time his stint ends in 2027.
“I’d like to thank you all for placing your faith in me for another four-year term,” Sheikh Salman told delegates. “It really humbles me, gives me such honour to have all the trust of the Asian confederation. It gives me a big responsibility, but it’s thanks to you all because you made all this happen. I hope I can live up to your expectations as well in the next four years.”
A member of the Bahrain royal family, Sheikh Salman first came to prominence in footballing circles in 2009 when he faced off against Bin Hammam for a seat on FIFA’s decision making body, a ballot he lost by a single vote.
However, he won the presidential election in 2013 and was returned unopposed in 2015 before running unsuccessfully against Gianni Infantino for the position of FIFA president the following year. He was returned unopposed again in 2019 after two candidates withdrew prior to the election.
Sheikh Salman also took the opportunity to express his deepest sympathies to the Qatar Football Association (QFA) and Qatar football community on the passing of former FIFA Council member, AFC Vice-President and QFA Vice-President Saoud A. Aziz M A al-Mohannadi.
“Our dear brother Saoud al-Mohannadi dedicated so much of his life towards the development of Asian and world football. He was fully committed towards uplifting the standards of the AFC’s competitions and we will always remember his contributions to the Asian game,” added Sheikh Salman.
AFC president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifah addresses the 33rd AFC Congress in Manama, Bahrain, yesterday. (Reuters)