Kuala Lumpur: Newly elected AFC President Shaikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has renewed his call on all Asian football stakeholders to be united and to focus on the future to take the game forward.
Sheikh Salman, whose term in office will run for two years until the next AFC Congress in 2015, had received 33 of the 46 votes during the AFC Extraordinary Congress in the Malaysian capital on Thursday.
Speaking during a press conference after the AFC Extraordinary Congress, Shaikh Salman said:
“It’s our duty together not only to look at what our challenges are and how to solve them but more importantly to look ahead to our future goals.
“We need be united, to bring everyone in one path, to look ahead to our goals, to achieve our targets, to get as many things done as possible especially by the year 2015.
“There are many great things that can be done in two years’ time. We should expect some changes and we’d like to see smooth transition to our goals and understanding between all MAs.
“Some of our goals have been met while others have yet to be concluded and I’d like to thank former Acting President Zhang Jilong for the work well done in this respect.
“We have to go hand-in-hand to implement our reforms such as those done by other confederations. We should try to look at the future, not only our past.”
The new AFC President expressed the need for support from stakeholders outside the football world in the continental body’s quest to help the Asian game overcome its challenges.
“We should look carefully at our challenges such as match fixing which is a disease. We have zero tolerance to match fixing and corruption practices and we need to make full use of all our tools to fight this phenomenon.
“This problem should not only be tackled from the football side only, but also we need good policing and support from the governments.
“And we should try to create mechanisms to tackle this issue in Asia.”
Shaikh Salman also expressed his gratitude for the trust given him to be at the helm of Asia to realise its aspirations to take its game to the world.
“I’m really humbled by the votes and confidence shown in me and I would like to thank you for your support,” he said.
“We work as a team. We work for one goal. I hope the AFC family will be united and we’ll do our best for Asian football.”