About AFC


AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa

Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain was elected as the 10th President of the Asian Football Confederation with a resounding majority at the AFC Extraordinary Congress held in Manama, Bahrain, in May 2013. He was also elected to the FIFA Executive Committee by the same Congress.

In 2015, Shaikh Salman was re-elected unopposed as the AFC President and FIFA Vice-President before being appointed as the FIFA Senior Vice-President in 2018.

Shaikh Salman was re-elected, once again unopposed, in 2019 to both the positions for a new four-year term.


Shaikh Salman’s vision is for a united Asian football community and the Continent’s great diversity being applied to promote solidarity throughout the game using the strength of the Regional and Member Associations and thus bringing together all the game’s stakeholders.

A commitment to deliver world class AFC competitions remains a top priority for Shaikh Salman, who is helping the AFC Champions League evolve rapidly while the AFC Cup also offers more chances of participation to more Member Associations. The AFC have also just concluded the biggest ever Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates with a record 24 teams.

The introduction of new technology, such as the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) and a continued proactive approach to the technical aspects of the game through education of players, coaches, referees and other officials also forms part of Shaikh Salman’s forward-looking agenda.


As the President of the AFC, Shaikh Salman strongly believes it is crucial to safeguard and promote the game, with special focus on battling the menace of match-fixing. Under his presidency, the AFC has put integrity at the heart of the organisation and continues to tackle match-fixing and corruption by closely working with the Member Associations and international law enforcement agencies.

Along with integrity, Shaikh Salman, through unity and solidarity with the Member Associations, has continued the development of good governance, which was a key factor in the AFC optimising its commercial value with the signing of a record commercial contract with partners DDMC Fortis.


In the sphere of social responsibility, Shaikh Salman launched the AFC Dream Asia Foundation in March 2017 and is determined to see AFC use football for social development and to assist those in need in Asia.


Shaikh Salman has championed women’s football development in Asia and has called for a special approach to the women’s game, given the various achievements of the Asian women’s teams on the global stage. In 2018, the AFC Women's Asian Cup was played in the West Zone – in Jordan – in a historic first for the women’s game.


Shaikh Salman’s association with the game goes back to the time when he played at home, at school and in the youth team of Bahrain Division 1 team, Riffa Club. The excitement of the game, the team spirit of his teammates and the passion that comes from participating in sport at a high level are all factors that have driven Shaikh Salman onwards in football.

As a skilled administrator, Shaikh Salman has worked diligently in an official capacity within football. He became the Vice-President of the Bahrain Football Association in 1998 and President in 2002 and was later appointed as the Honorary President of the Bahrain Football Association in 2013.

Shaikh Salman was elected as Vice-President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee for the 2009-2012 and 2013-17 terms.

Shaikh Salman was Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee at the FIFA Club World Cup 2008 in Japan and also oversaw numerous major international football tournaments, including the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2003, the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2005 and the Olympic Games of 2004 and 2008.

In 2010, he was chosen as a member of FIFA’s Technical Development Committee, tasked with improving the quality of the sport.

He was also a member of the Organising Committee of the FIFA World Cup™ and the Bureau 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and is currently the Chairman of the FIFA Development Committee.

Among other posts held by Shaikh Salman were as the Chairman of the Football Committee of the Olympic Games and Deputy Chairman of the Marketing and Television Broadcasting Committee of FIFA.