Asian soccer body says it supports FIFA candidate Sheikh Salman

Three of the five FIFA candidates claim support from Asian voters, but the AFC said it fully backed Sheikh Salman.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 27, 2015, 21:48 PM IST
Asian soccer body says it supports FIFA candidate Sheikh Salman

New Delhi: The Asian Football Confederation on Friday said its executive committee unanimously backed Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa's FIFA presidential bid.

Three of the five FIFA candidates claim support from Asian voters, but the AFC said its 24-member executive committee fully backed Sheikh Salman, a member of the Bahraini royal family.

Asia has 46 of 209 voting federations in the election to succeed Sepp Blatter on February 26.

"The members of the AFC executive committee passed a resolution urging all member associations to unite behind and support the AFC president Sheikh Salman in his efforts to be elected as the first FIFA president from Asia," the continental soccer body said.

Sheikh Salman said in a AFC statement: "It is a big support for my campaign, as well as an honour for me, to have the endorsement and full backing of the AFC executive committee. It also sends a strong message that Asia is behind one candidate."

However, the AFC chief currently also faces competition from rival candidate Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, who is supported by his home country and other Asian voters.

Jerome Champagne of France claims support from the Palestinian federation, which he has advised in recent years and has a delegate on the AFC executive committee.

The other candidates are South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale and UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino, who has worked closely in recent months with Sheikh Salman and FIFA powerbroker Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah of Kuwait.