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Zurich: Asian football gathered in Zurich on Thursday to show their united support for Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa’s FIFA Presidency campaign.

At the AFC Members Association lunch the AFC Executive Committee led the chorus of backing for the AFC President and then wished him every success on the eve of Friday's presidential vote.

The public show of support for Shaikh Salman came after the Executive Committee had voted unanimously to support him at its meetings in Delhi, India, in November and in Doha, Qatar, last month.

This came on the same day as the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) declared its ten Member Associations will vote for Shaikh Salman.

Later, the AFC Vice President and President of the All India Football Federation Praful Patel said: “Shaikh Salman is a proven leader as he has demonstrated at the AFC. At this time FIFA needs someone to lead and be a strong President. FIFA needs a strong and mature leader.”

Among the well-wishers was Saudi Arabian Executive Committee member Ahmed Eid who told the waiting reporters: “We are supporting Shaikh Salman. This is not just from our Federation but throughout our entire country. We can see the support across the world.

”This is because of what he has achieved as AFC President in the last three years. He has brought great stability to an organisation which was once in turmoil. This is the time for Asia to show world football the leadership it requires.”

The AFC Member Associations lunch was attended by all the delegates who have gathered in Zurich for the Extraordinary FIFA Congress tomorrow, which will not only elect a new FIFA President but also vote on proposed FIFA reforms.

Shaikh Salman told the AFC members: “It would be wrong of me not to acknowledge the overwhelming support I have received from you all. I am humbled by the backing I have received from Asia.

“That support has been echoed across the great continent of Africa and indeed in all corners and continents of the world. I am grateful to you all not only for that support, but also for your encouragement and your valuable advice in the last few months – indeed throughout my AFC Presidency.”

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