Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Executive Committee meeting in Moscow today has decided to enter into an agreement with DDMC Sports International Ltd and Fortis Sports AG for the AFC’s Commercial Rights for the period 2021-2028.
As requested, the AFC Executive Committee, chaired by AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, received reports on all the bids submitted for the next commercial cycle.
The AFC President said: "We are delighted to have recommended the offer from the company that submitted such a compelling bid and now the AFC Administration has been mandated to complete the contract as soon as possible.
"I am grateful to all the other bidders who showed such keen interest in partnering with the AFC but the Executive Committee has made their decision and we are excited about the future partnership."
Shaikh Salman added: "The new rights agreement will now secure the financial future of our Member Associations as well as help the AFC further enhance our competitions and development programmes.
"Throughout the process we have guaranteed the highest level of integrity, transparency and efficiency and I must thank the AFC Tender Management Team, who have steered us through the process with such confidence and wisdom.
"We have also benefitted from the external oversight of an Independent Tender Process Observer representing one of the top international audit firms, and the direction from the Independent Monitoring Group which involved representatives of our Finance, Audit and Marketing Committees.
“The successful conclusion to a process, which has lasted for more than 15 months, will mean that the AFC and the Asian football family can now contemplate a bright and prosperous future."
"But at the same time, we must be aware of the need to continue to evolve and develop both on and off the field to make sure that we use the new financial power wisely and effectively."
The AFC President reflected on the progress that has been made by Asian football, thanks to the unity of purpose that exists in the game, during the last five years.
He said: “We met in Moscow just days before the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, which will be a historic tournament for Asia. For the first time one of our teams – Saudi Arabia – will play in the opening match when they play the hosts Russia in Moscow.
"We have a record five teams here in Australia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan and Korea Republic as well as Saudi Arabia and our sixth team, the match officials, are also here in record numbers – no fewer than 15 referees, assistant referees and a Video Assistant Referee will officiate in Russia."
"Asian football has made and continues to make giant strides. With this new commercial rights deal, Asian football will stand proud on the world stage as the Continent becomes the focal point for the global game."