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China Daily Website

Asian boss quit for his own reasons

Updated: 2013-03-04 07:52
By Xinhua ( China Daily)

Asian soccer's caretaker chief, Zhang Jilong, confirmed on Sunday he will not run at the body's leadership election and the decision was made "totally out of his own will".

Zhang (pictured) formally announced his decision on Sunday, which was the registration deadline for May's Asian Football Confederation election.

Asian boss quit for his own reasons

"I will not run for the AFC presidency. I made this decision totally out of my own will and with careful thinking," the 61-year-old said.

Zhang took the reins in June 2011 after former president Mohamed bin Hammam was banned from the game over bribery accusations, which he denies. The Chinese will stay on as senior vice-president of the AFC.

"I am really honored that I was entrusted with the caretaker job while the AFC was in its most difficult time," he said.

"I am happy that I did my part to maintain the stability of the AFC and my job has been done. It is time to elect a new leader of the AFC."

With Zhang's dropping out, the election will see two candidates - Thai soccer chief Worawi Makudi and Bahrain's Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa - battle for the top role.

Zhang said he hoped less competition in the election would bring more harmony to the AFC.

"Peace has been a rare thing in the AFC for a very long time and I am sure that every member would like to see it again," he said.

(China Daily 03/04/2013 page23)

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