—- Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the Asian Football Confederation president, is confident that the continent’s football is on the right track to weather the current impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chairing the AFC executive committee’s online meeting, the AFC president said that the unity and transparency that have been so successfully evident in the last seven years will provide the solid foundations on which a brighter future can be built.

Shaikh Salman said: “I thank all the Members and their Member Associations for their support in what has been a difficult year for not only the AFC, but sport and the world in general. Sometimes you sail in calm waters, other times you weather the storm. I am certain the AFC can weather the current storm.

“I am sure the AFC is on the right track and that if we continue to work together, we will be able to deliver our objectives and particularly our competitions. We have already shown that, in difficult circumstances, we are able to deliver our leading club competition – the AFC Champions League.

“This proves that even in the most challenging situations we are able to stage such a prestigious competition and we thank the Qatar FA and Qatari Authorities, the medical professionals and front liners, for their outstanding contribution. This combined effort ensured the AFC’s successful completion of the West Zone matches and now their continued assistance is on show in the East Zone competition.

“We are now looking forward to an outstanding AFC Champions League final on December 19, 2020 and we extend our gratitude to the Member Associations and clubs for helping us reach this important milestone. It has been a significant achievement which has demonstrated the exceptional professionalism which exists in Asia.”

Shaikh Salman added that the AFC will continue to work to deliver all the competitions in 2021 and with FIFA to guarantee the successful completion of the AFC Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 while keeping the health and well-being of all participants as a main priority.

The AFC Executive Committee also received updates on the AFC’s development programmes and commercial arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as recommendations by the many standing committees which held its meetings in the last month to ensure the continued growth and progress of the AFC and the Asian football family.

The AFC Executive Committee also agreed that the 31st AFC Congress will be tentatively scheduled for October 2021.