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New AFC president elected

Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has been elected the new Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president.

Australia’s Moya Dodd has maintained her vice-president position.

The AFC
had had to elect a new president after former leader Mohammed bin Hamman was
banned from football administration for life by FIFA.

Sheikh
Salman, a member of Bahrain’s royal family and president of the Bahrain Football
Association, overcame two other candidates – Dato’ Worawi Makudi of Thailand
and the UAE’s Yousuf Yaqoob Yousuf Al Serkal – with 33 out of 49 votes from the
AFC’s member associations.

Saudi
Arabia’s Hafez Al Medlej withdrew on the eve of the elections after failing to
win full support of the West Asian region.

While
Sheikh Salman’s campaign was dogged by accusations of human rights violations
against Bahrain’s pro-democracy demonstrations in 2011, Football Federation
Australia (FFA) chairman Frank Lowy welcomed the Bahraini’s appointment.

“FFA
warmly welcomes the election of Sheikh Salman and we look forward to a close
working relationship with the new President,” Lowy said in a statement
released by the FFA.

“Over
the recent past FFA has been in consultation with all of the candidates to
discuss the issues and opportunities for Asian football and in particular the
continuing reform process.

“We
recognise that positive changes are underway and we will continue to contribute
to strengthening the governance of the game across the AFC.”

Meanwhile,
Dodd, a former Matildas player and FFA director, was re-elected to the AFC
executive as the women’s football representative.

“I
am delighted to be re-elected as AFC vice president and very grateful to our
member associations for their confidence in me,” Dodd said.

Lowy
also paid tribute to Dodd’s appointment after the former vice-captain of
Australia’s women’s national team was the sole candidate for her position.

“The
fact that Moya was re-elected unopposed shows she enjoys widespread support
within the AFC,” Lowy said.

“Moya
will give Australia a voice at the AFC’s top table and contribute to football
development over Asia.”

Sheikh
Salman will complete the rest of Bin Hamman’s term as president, which ends in
2015, taking over from acting-president Zhang Ji Long of China.

The
Bahraini was also elected as the FIFA Executive Member beating Hassan Al
Thawadi of Qatar with 28 out of 46 votes.

“We
need to utilise our tools, reinforce our commitments, be accountable for our
actions and the success of our results, and ensure that our AFC funds are
manageable,” Sheikh Salman said.

“I
believe that match-fixing has affected our development and I will ensure that
your needs will be met.”

Thu 2 May, 2013
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