Asia’s football chief announced his bid for a third term in office yesterday, days after backing FIFA boss Gianni Infantino for a fresh mandate.
Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifah, who has led the Asian Football Confederation since 2013, said he would stand for a new term at the AFC Congress in his home country of Bahrain next February.
“I would like to inform you today that I will be standing for re-election in 2023,” he told a virtual Congress.
“I hope to receive your trust and support once again for the next term as the AFC President,” Sheikh Salman said, according to the AFC website.
The Bahraini royal was a rival candidate to Infantino when the Italian-Swiss was elected FIFA president in 2016 after a major corruption scandal ended the reign of Sepp Blatter.
Earlier this month Sheikh Salman, whose confederation includes 47 of FIFA’s 211 associations, said Asian football was “united” behind Infantino’s bid.
After completing the last two years of Mohamed bin Hammam’s term, Sheikh Salman was re-elected unopposed in 2015 and 2019.
Asian football has been badly hit by the pandemic, with serious disruption to its competitions including China’s withdrawal last week as host of the 2023 Asian Cup.
Japan sounded out as Asian Cup hosts: report
Japan has been “sounded out” about hosting next year’s Asian Cup, the country’s football chief said, after China withdrew from staging the tournament over coronavirus concerns.
Japan Football Association chairman Kozo Tashima told the Nikkan Sports daily that Asian Football Confederation officials had been in touch regarding hosting the 24-team tournament, but gave no further details. “We’ve just been sounded out,” Tashima was quoted as saying.
“If Japan were to host it, it would be exciting, no doubt about it.”
China last week pulled out of hosting the tournament, which had been due to be staged in 10 cities in June and July next year, as the country pursues a strict zero-Covid strategy.
The move came one week after organisers of the Asian Games, due to take place in the Chinese city of Hangzhou this September, announced that the event would be postponed.
Japan, which co-hosted Asia’s first World Cup with South Korea 20 years ago, has not staged the Asian Cup since 1992.
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