KUALA LUMPUR: Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has no intention of falling on his political sword just because Asia’s contribution to the World Cup finals was a major disappointment writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Not one AFC national team progressed beyond the group stage of the finals in Brazil amid an undercurrent of concern that too much effort had been put into politics over the last two years and not enough into football development and encourement.
However Shaikh Salman has been reported as saying that he intends to seek re-election next year at AFC Congress on the eve of the Asian Cup in Australia.
He said he wanted to “set a new course” for Asian football and seek an extra World Cup slot for Asian teams even though, on their showing in Brazil, they do not deserve one. Not one of the AFC nations in Brazil – Australia, Iran, Japan and South and Korea – recorded a win in their 12 matches combined.
Shaikh Salman said: “We are in the beginning stages of a long-term restructuring project and it would be great to personally see it through as I am confident it will greatly benefit the confederation so I would be pleased to continue with the presidency with the support from the member associations.
The Bahraini won an overwhelming election victory last year to complete the third term of the disgraced Mohamed bin Hammam, who was barred from football over allegations first of bribery and then misuse of funds – all of which he denied.