— The Asian Football Confederation executive committee has condemned third-party interference in the running of the affairs of member associations.

The AFC Executive Committee meeting in Abu Dhabi, UAE, promised their support to the ‘legitimately elected’ Pakistan Football Federation, which has recently been replaced by order of the country’s Supreme Court.

The meeting supported the principle of non-Governmental interference in the running of Member Associations and confirmed their backing for whatever action FIFA may take in restoring the elected PFF officials.

In addition, the AFC Executive Committee agreed that integrity, being central to the AFC’s Vision and Mission, must also prevail in the forthcoming elections to be held at the AFC 29th Congress in Kuala Lumpur on April 6, 2019.

Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the AFC President, thanked all those not standing for re-election for their service to football in Asia ‘where the progress on and off the field has been so clear to see.’

The AFC Executive Committee confirmed that the AFC are working with FIFA following allegations of sexual abuse of female players in Afghanistan and will continue to monitor the situation as well as re-iterating the determination to provide a safe environment for all footballers – especially female and young players.

Shaikh Salman said: “We will look to provide an easy pathway for players to report such abuse anonymously – in a way that people can report breaches of integrity – so that we can guarantee a safe environment. The Administration will work with stakeholders to establish the best way forward to make football even safer.”

The AFC’s five Regional Associations have asked the AFC Executive Committee to consider an increase in the number of Executive Committee seats and the Administration were mandated work with the various Committees on this request. The Administration will also conduct media rights research in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

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