KUALA LUMPUR: Asia’s football federations are gradually falling into line behind the various candidates for the forthcoming elections in the Asian Football Confederation.
The East Asian Football Federation has declared its support for China’s Zhang Jian to join the expanded FIFA Council.
He is one of four candidates from whom the Asian Football Confederation must choose two additional delegates in its extraordinary congress in Goa on September 27.
The other three are Iranian Ali Kafashian Naeni, Singapore FA president Zainudin Nordin and Qatar FA vice-president Saoud Al Mohannadi from the 2022 World Cup host. However doubts now hang over Al Mohannadi after he fell foul of the FIFA ethics commission.
China lost its place on what was then the executive committee of FIFA after Zhang Jilong stepped down as interim president of the AFC following the election in 2013 of Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa.
The ‘reward’ for the decision of South Korea’s Chung Mong-Gyu, to pull out of the FIFA post role, will be EAFF support for his bid for the AFC vice-presidency.
Chung ascribed his withdrawal on his focus of leading the South Korean delegation at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
In a statement of regional loyalty the EAFF is also formally suppprting North Korea’s Han Un Gyong for the female post on the FIFA Council though Australia’s Moya Dodd remains firm favourite for AFC support after all her work within the confederation and FIFA in promoting the women’s game.
Mahfuza Ahkter from Bangladesh is the third candidate.