AFC chief Bin Hammam wins new four-year term

AFP, Thursday 6 Jan 2011

Bin Hammam has been president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) since 2002, and promised to strengthen body's quality and professionalism

Bin Hammam
Bin Hammam during the 24th AFC congress in Doha (Photo: Reuters)

Mohamed Bin Hammam won a new four-year term as Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president on Thursday and vowed to take the game to a new level.

The Qatari, who has held the job since 2002, was elected unopposed until 2015 at the AFC Congress in Doha, ahead of the Asian Cup which kicks off on Friday.

Touted as a potential successor to Sepp Blatter as head of FIFA, Bin Hammam has been instrumental in changing the face of Asian football.

The 61-year-old FIFA executive committee member is seen as a moderniser who has overseen the launch of the AFC Champions League and the admission of Australia into the confederation.

His dream is to see leagues in Asia run as professionally as their European counterparts.

"My strong belief in the passion for football in Asia and the potential of Asian football made me announce my desire to lead this Confederation more than eight years ago," he said.

"Asia, with its huge population, has the most talents, and I believed that the world has yet to feel the vibration of Asian football.

"I dreamed that Asia would one day stand tall in the world of international football; and that Asian teams, with their Asian players, coaches and administrators, would hold their own and challenge for dominance in world football.

"In August 2002, this Congress gave me the wonderful opportunity to be in the driving seat, to work on these beliefs and to start my journey of bringing our dreams to reality.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Congress for your trust in me then and now again, as I move into the last term of this presidency."

He cited his priorities moving forward as injecting more quality into AFC projects while expanding the base of football participation and continuing the push to professionalise the game.

"While Asia has not yet taken over the world, the rumblings of Asia can now be felt. We strongly believe that the Future is Asia and we are working very hard towards the future," he said.

"We must push our limits and challenge the status quo."                         

The AFC is the biggest football confederation in the world, with 46 members.

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