Qatar Saoud al-Mohannadi said that his election as a member of the FIFA Council for the 2019-2023 term is a victory of all Qataris.
Al-Mohannadi, who is also the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) vice-president, was elected by 37 votes out of 46 at the 29th AFC Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, yesterday.
The Qatar Football Federation (QFA) delegation at the Congress was headed by president HE Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed al-Thani, while the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) delegation was headed by its secretary-general Hassan al-Thawadi.
Al-Mohannadi dedicated his victory to Qatar’s wise leadership and to everyone that helped and supported him, particularly QFA president Sheikh Hamad and all the other QFA affiliates. He said that his victory was a result of teamwork.
He said, he will do his utmost to raise the name of Qatar and to honour the continent of Asia.
Meanwhile, al-Thawadi congratulated all the Qatari people on this new achievement.
“This victory reflects the outstanding position of the State of Qatar, the QFA, and the high level of competence exhibited by Saoud al-Mohannadi in his active role in the Asian Football Federation,” he said.
Sheikh Salman retains place at helm of Asian football
Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifah was re-elected unopposed to the position as president of the Asian Football Confederation yesterday after the regional body’s congress confirmed a new four-year term by acclamation.
The 53-year-old, who was not present at the meeting due to the death of his mother earlier in the week, was handed a third term at the helm after other candidates, Saoud al-Mohannadi of Qatar and Mohamed al-Romaithi of the United Arab Emirates, withdrew.
Sheikh Salman will extend his reign as president until at least 2023, by which time he will have completed a 10-year spell in charge of the 47-member body after initially completing the truncated term of former president Mohammed bin Hammam.
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 later that same year.
Initially elected on a platform of accountability, he has becoming increasingly distant during his presidency, rarely taking questions from the media since winning his second term of office.
Those matters, though, have done little to dampen enthusiasm for him to remain in charge of Asia’s governing body, with his hopes of reelection boosted in June last year when he signed off on a new deal for the AFC’s commercial and broadcast rights.
The agreement with Chinese-backed company DDMC Fortis will ensure revenues more than double from those under the current agreement with long-term partner Lagardere Sports.
India earn FIFA seat, eye 2026 World Cup
India set their sights on qualifying for the 2026 World Cup as Praful Patel became their first representative on the powerful FIFA Council yesterday.
Patel, one of six Asian delegates elected to the Council at the Asian Football Confederation Congress, said the World Cup was the next big step for India after making great strides in recent years.
India’s confidence has grown after a positive Asian Cup in January, where they returned to the tournament after eight years and were unlucky not to reach the second round.
“I personally feel that among all the countries in Asia there is a tremendous goodwill for India, and (also) China should be much more involved in the game and also the AFC and FIFA,” Patel said in Kuala Lumpur.
“We should be putting our best efforts to make sure that the Indian team qualifies in 2026 for the World Cup,” he added.
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