The 28th Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Congress today approved changes to its Statutes, which align the AFC with the highest principles of good governance.
The AFC Congress overwhelmingly approved the recognition of the five Asian Regional Associations and ‘welcomed them as partners’ in delivering the AFC’s Vision and Mission in the years ahead.
Also approved was a change in the Statutes which requires candidates for the office of the AFC President to be nominated by at least three Member Associations – but not necessarily by the Member Association they represent.
Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the AFC President, said: “With the support of the AFC Governance Task Force and the AFC Legal Committee, we are constantly reforming our statutes and regulations to be on par with established principles and standards of good governance and, of course, be in line with FIFA.
“Throughout our rise during the last five years we have not only put unity and solidarity at the core of our objectives but also the need for good governance. Our statute changes bring us in line with FIFA.”
Shaikh Salman added: “We have now formalised our great relationship with the five AFC Regional Associations. Today, we officially recognised and welcomed them as partners to our mission to develop the game in Asia.
“The Regional Associations are another of our strong links to the Member Associations and we must support them and work with them.”
At the Congress Shaikh Salman also reflected on the great progress of the AFC in the last five years and said: “When we launched our AFC Vision and Mission in January 2016, we set out to be the world’s leading confederation. It was, of course, ambitious.
“But what we have achieved in so many areas have ensured we have been leaders in world football. Again, this is delivered through our strength of purpose and clarity of vision. And the AFC has reaped the rewards and rightly so.
“We were able to announce a record Commercial rights deal with our partners DDMC Fortis. Just 48 hours ago, we signed the long form contract here in Kuala Lumpur. It is an agreement which guarantees the financial stability of not just the AFC but every one of its Member Associations. Together, we have the opportunity to take football in Asia to a new level – to a brighter future.
Meanwhile, FIFA President Gianni Infantino, addressed Congress and said: “I am very happy to be here because things are running very well in Asia.
“We are looking forward to another four years of a period where Asian football will play an important part, starting with the FIFA Club World Cup, which will begin in a few weeks in Abu Dhabi, then the AFC Asian Cup in the UAE, and of course, the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022 and our ambition is to stage an even better World Cup than our success in Russia.”
The 28th AFC Congress also elected the Mongolian Football Federation President, Ganbaatar Amgalanbaatar (East), and the Vietnam Football Federation Vice-President, Dr. Tran Quoc Tuan (ASEAN), to the AFC Executive Committee by acclamation for the remainder of the 2015-2019 term, in accordance with the AFC Statutes.