DILI (2 May 2014) – Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has vowed to build on the positive achievements over the past year as the FIFA Executive Committee member from Bahrain marks his first anniversary as AFC President on Friday.
Under the banner of unity and with a mission to reunite a divided confederation; foster a stronger and more inclusive relationship with the AFC member associations; and introduce initiatives based on the core principles of transparency and good governance,Sheikh Salman was elected the tenth AFC President on May 2nd, 2013 at the AFC Extraordinary Congress in Kuala Lumpur.
His visionary manifesto that laid out a blueprint for a democratic and inclusive AFC based on the principles of transparency, integrity and good governance galvanised the confederation and Sheikh Salman achieved a landslide victory, garnering 33 of the 46 votes.
Reflecting on the past year, Sheikh Salman said that he was particularly pleased that his ongoing mission to author a new chapter in the history of the Asian Football Confederation based primarily on more proactive engagement between the confederation and its member associations has been gathering momentum.
Member associations have become more integrated into the decision making process in various areas relating to the development of the game while many new initiatives, such as the Bidding Workshop for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, have enabled a greater number of MAs to utilise the AFC’s expertise and broaden their own knowledge base.
In addition to making the administrative side of the game more equal, Shaikh Salman has also worked towards ensuring MAs have more opportunities to participate in Asia’s flagship tournaments.
A fairer and more transparent ranking system has been introduced that will allow more MAs to have their clubs take part in the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup while the number of teams in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup will be increased to 24, adding more fan and commercial engagement to tournament.
Describing it as a personal duty and a moral obligation to restore the AFC’s reputation and safeguard the integrity of the Asian game, Shaikh Salman has also initiated a number of tangible reforms that can be implemented and measured by the member associations.
A two-chambered Ethics Committee a Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct, which fully comply with FIFA regulations, have been established while the AFC has also been more proactive in the fight against match fixing, working alongside member associations, FIFA, Interpol and Sportradar to protect the integrity of the Asian game, now and in the future.
Recognising that a lot of hard work still needs to be done, Shaikh Salman said that he will take on the challenges that lie ahead over the next year with the same energy and enthusiasm shown during his first 365 days in office, striving to take Asian football to the next level in a spirit of unity, co-operation and respect.