KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa changed into re-elected unopposed to the position as president of the Asian Football Confederation on Saturday after the regional body’s congress confirmed a new four-12 months term for the Bahraini via acclamation.
The 53-yr-vintage, who was no longer a gift on the assembly because his mother died in advance inside the week, exceeded a 3rd term on the helm after his opponents, Mohammed Al Romaithi, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatari Saoud Al Mohannadi withdrew. Sheikh Salman will increase his reign as president till as a minimum 2023, with the aid of which period he may have completed a ten-12 months spell in the price of the forty seven-member frames after, to begin with, completing the truncated term of former president Mohammed bin Hammam.
He took over for the final years of Bin Hammam’s stint as AFC president after the Qatari became banned for existence through governing body FIFA from all soccer activities for his involvement in a corruption scandal.
A member of the Bahrain royal family, Sheikh Salman first came to prominence in footballing circles in 2009 whilst he faced off with Bin Hammam for a seat on FIFA’s choice-making frame, a poll he lost by a single vote.
However, he gained the presidential election in 2013 and changed into again unopposed in 2015 earlier than walking unsuccessfully towards Gianni Infantino for the position of FIFA president the subsequent 12 months. Initially elected on a platform of responsibility, he turned into an increasing number of remote at some stage in his presidency, hardly ever taking questions from the media because they triumphed his 2d term of office.
The former Bahrain Football Association president has denied accusations he became concerned in human rights abuses via the Gulf country’s ruling family at some stage in a crackdown on democracy protesters in 2011.
The problem resurfaced in January whilst Sheikh Salman’s function in international soccer becomes wondered by campaigners looking for the discharge of former Bahrain worldwide Hakeem Al Arabi from a Thai detention center under threat of extradition Gulf nation.
Sheikh Salman did not comment publicly on the matter. The AFC later claimed to have recused him 18 months earlier from involvement in matters concerning nations inside the west of the continent because of potential warfare of pursuits.
Those subjects, even though, have carried out little to hose down enthusiasm for him to stay in fee of Asia’s governing body, along with his hopes of reelection boosted in June remaining 12 months while he signed off on a new deal for the AFC’s commercial and broadcast rights. The agreement with Chinese-subsidized employer DDMC Fortis will ensure sales greater than double from those under the present-day agreement with long-time companion Lagardere Sports.