Article

New AFC president elected

2 May 2013 10:28

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."

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