Sheikh Sal­man faces twin chal­lenge in his bid for AFC pres­i­dency

Bangkok Post - - FOOTBALL -

>> KUALA LUMPUR: Asian Foot­ball Con­fed­er­a­tion (AFC) pres­i­dent Sheikh Sal­man bin Khal­ifa faces a chal­lenge as the head of the con­ti­nent’s rul­ing foot­ball body with two can­di­dates putting them­selves for­ward for next April’s elec­tion.

AFC vice-pres­i­dent Saoud A Aziz M A Al-Mo­han­nadi of Qatar and Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee mem­ber Mo­hamed Khal­fan Matar Saeed Al­ro­maithi from the United Arab Emi­rates had lodged their can­di­da­cies to chal­lenge Sheikh Sal­man, the AFC said yes­ter­day.

An ex­pected chal­lenge from Saudi Ara­bia Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion’s for­mer pres­i­dent Adel Ez­zat did not ma­te­ri­alise. Ez­zat had said in 2017 he would stand against Sheikh Sal­man in the 2019 elec­tions.

Ez­zat’s hopes of a build­ing a power base were ap­par­ently hurt in Oc­to­ber by the de­ci­sion of members of the South Asian Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion to with­draw from the Saudi-cre­ated South West Asian Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion.

Sheikh Sal­man said in Oc­to­ber he would be seek­ing a third term in of­fice. He was first elected AFC pres­i­dent in 2013 to com­plete the term of dis­graced for­mer pres­i­dent Mo­hammed bin Ham­mam.

Bin Ham­mam was banned for life by Fifa, the game’s gov­ern­ing body, in 2011 and the AFC was led by in­terim pres­i­dent Zhang Ji­long until Sheikh Sal­man’s suc­cess­ful elec­tion.

The Bahraini was re-elected to his post in 2015.

The AFC Pres­i­dent also holds a Vice-Pres­i­dent post at world gov­ern­ing body Fifa.

Mean­while, South Korea for­ward Kim Se­ung-Dae will miss the Asian Cup next month be­cause of a toe in­jury and has been re­placed in the pre-tour­na­ment train­ing camp by un­capped winger Kim In-Sung.

Kim Se­ung-Dae has played five times for his coun­try scor­ing one goal and his ab­sence through in­jury is some­what ironic given he played ev­ery minute of ev­ery game for his club Po­hang Steel­ers in the re­cent­ly­con­cluded sea­son.

Speed­ster Kim In-Sung, who has never rep­re­sented his coun­try at any level, had a brief spell in the Rus­sian Pre­mier League with CSKA Moscow in 2011.

AFC pres­i­dent Sheikh Sal­man.

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