September 26, 2018 / 3:08 PM / a year ago

Soccer-AFC chief Sheikh Salman to run for re-election next year

Sept 26 (Reuters) - Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa intends to run for re-election at their 29th congress next April, the continent’s governing body announced on Wednesday.

Sheikh Salman has been in the position since 2013 after he replaced Qatari Mohamed bin Hammam, who was banned for life by soccer’s world governing body FIFA in 2011 amid allegations of participating in a cash-for-votes scandal.

“The greater good of the AFC and its members is a priority and we have seen the progress that we have made in the last five years. Football has shown the power to bring nations together and to do good,” Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman said in a statement.

“I am proud of what we have achieved in that time and I am not ready to leave this organisation into a state of chaos. We have all seen what the AFC was before, and we have seen what it looks like now and I hope that we can continue that progress.

“We have seen the strides we’ve made in the last five years through our football and also through the record commercial rights deal and this has been because of the support and understanding we have achieved.”

Sheikh Salman also ran for president of FIFA in 2016 but was beaten by Swiss-Italian Gianni Infantino.

The AFC, which is holding its executive committee meeting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, also said it would increase the contribution to Asian teams who have qualified for next year’s Women’s World Cup — Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and Thailand — to $500,000. (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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