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China Daily Website

AFC to elect new president by April

Updated: 2012-11-30 11:41
( Agencies)

SINGAPORE - The turbulent reign of perennially suspended AFC boss Mohamed Bin Hammam will finally end with the regional body announcing plans on Thursday to elect a new president before April.

AFC to elect new president by April

AFC Acting President Zhang Jilong delivers his address during the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Annual Awards 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, Nov 29, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

An Asian Football Confederation (AFC) statement said the election of a new leader was 'subject to recommendations and advice of the AFC Legal Committee' with a decision due by mid-January.

The statement came after the AFC's executive committee meeting at their headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday under the chairmanship of China's Zhang Jilong, who has held the role of acting president of the beleaguered body since May last year.

Zhang is a likely candidate to assume the full role but he will probably face competition from Bahraini FA president Sheikh Salman amongst others.

"Under my caretaker leadership, I promised a new vision for AFC. I committed myself to a new era of transparency and I am confident that with your support I will be able to deliver this objective," Zhang told AFC members on Thursday.

Should the election be approved by the AFC's legal department and a replacement found it would bring an end to the most memorable tenure by an AFC president, who has been out of office for the last 18 months fighting corruption allegations.

Elected in 2002, Bin Hammam was credited with revolutionizing the Asian Champions League and also oversaw Australia's entrance to the confederation.

He survived two further elections, the last in January 2011 uncontested, but the critics were never far away and he was accused of being tough on some federations but slack on others.

In 2005, Indonesian FA head Nurdin Halid was sent to jail but continued to run the organization until FIFA banned him from elections in 2011.

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