Sal­man wants new Fifa to be more in­clu­sive

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

Asian foot­ball said it was look­ing for­ward to work­ing with new Fifa Pres­i­dent Gianni In­fantino, de­spite the re­gion's two can­di­dates los­ing out to the Swiss in Fri­day's elec­tion, and called for unity to help push the re­form process for­ward.

In­fantino beat Asian can­di­dates Shaikh Sal­man Bin Ebrahim Al Khal­ifa of Bahrain and Jor­dan's Prince Ali Bin Al Hus­sain, as well as French­man Jerome Cham­pagne, to suc­ceed Sepp Blat­ter in the vote at Fifa's Congress in Zurich.

The scan­dal-hit gov­ern­ing body is in the midst of the worst cri­sis in its 112-year his­tory, with more than 40 in­di­vid­u­als and en­ti­ties, in­clud­ing many for­mer FIFA of­fi­cials, charged with cor­rup­tion-re­lated of­fences in the United States.

How­ever, the elec­tion marked an op­por­tu­nity to be­gin the long road back to restor­ing its rep­u­ta­tion, said Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion Aus­tralia chief Steven Lowy. While Aus­tralia had come out in sup­port of Prince Ali ahead of the vote, Lowy de­scribed the elec­tion as "the best day Fifa has had in many years".

"The mood for change was in the air and the Congress voted over­whelm­ingly to move for­ward with a new struc­ture and new lead­er­ship to im­ple­ment it," he said in a state­ment on Satur­day. Lowy added that he and FFA Chief Ex­ec­u­tive David Gal­lop had been im­pressed by In­fantino in pre­vi­ous meet­ings. "David Gal­lop and I have met him sev­eral times in the past few months and have been im­pressed with his knowl­edge, his en­ergy and his de­ter­mi­na­tion to lead FIFA into a new era," he added.

"We will now move for­ward to con­tinue play­ing a pro­duc­tive role as a mem­ber of the Asian Foot­ball Con­fed­er­a­tion and the world foot­ball com­mu­nity." While the Arab re­gion rued yet an­other squan­dered chance to help elect their first FIFA pres­i­dent af­ter their two can­di­dates failed to co­op­er­ate, Shaikh Sal­man, pres­i­dent of the AFC, called for unity to help move the re­form process for­ward.

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