Bahrain's AFC head Sheikh Salman to be re-elected unopposed

Re-election as head of the Asian Football Confederation is assured after his only remaining challenger withdrew from the contest
Bahrain's AFC head Sheikh Salman to be re-elected unopposed
President of the Asian Football Confederation, Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa. (HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI/AFP/Getty Images)
By AFP
Thu 28 Mar 2019 07:10 PM

Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa was on Thursday assured of his re-election as head of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) after his only remaining challenger withdrew from the contest.

Qatari Saoud al-Mohannadi pulled out of the vote and backed the Bahraini, according to a statement from the Qatar Football Association.

"The Qatari Football Association announces its support for Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa for a new term as head of the AFC," read the statement.

A third candidate, Mohamed Khalfan al-Romaithi from the United Arab Emirates, had already dropped out of the running.

The re-election will go ahead early next month and means Sheikh Salman, who in 2016 unsuccessfully stood against Gianni Infantino in the FIFA presidential elections, will now head the AFC for at least a decade.

He was first elected in 2013, and he will serve a fresh four-year-term from next month.

Notably the QFA statement said Sheikh Salman was in Qatar for talks with Mohannadi.

Since 2017, Bahrain has been one of the countries leading a boycott of the 2022 World Cup host, imposing a diplomatic, economic and travel ban on Qatar.

The statement added that Sheikh Salman expressed his gratitude for Qatari support, which "reflects the spirit of unity among the family of Asian football".

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