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Bin Hammam seeks Asian support

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 14 Apr 2011

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FIFA presidential candidate Mohammad Bin Hammam will look for support close to home in the form of sleeping giants India and China.

Asian Football Confederation chief Bin Hammam is campaigning to be elected to the FIFA presidency ahead of long-term incumbent Sepp Blatter.

The 61-year-old Qatari has sought the support of India and China in his bid to win a decisive share of the vote, with the election to decide the governing body’s leadership scheduled for June 1.

“I see India as a supporter for my efforts,” Bin Hammam said.

“Naturally, when we talk about Asia, I also think that all Asians should also take part in this effort. In short, yes, I think of India as a part of me.”

Bin Hammam, who believes the time is right for Blatter’s near 13-year reign to come to an end, is aiming to appeal to the rapidly growing population and economies of China and India.

The two countries are relative minnows in football terms, but have the potential to become a serious force in the game.

“The idea is not only to compete against one who has been in the seat for so long,” Bin Hammam said.

“The idea is also a lot of people are looking forward to changes, looking forward to new ideas and I believe with their support the numbers can grow.”

“You can see how much we are interested in promoting the game in India.”

“I am part of a confederation, which is maybe two thirds of the world’s population, and two thirds of these people are living in two countries, India and China.”

“So whatever has been put by AFC in India and China is actually noticeable and we are going to strengthen these efforts.”

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