Tuesday, July 5, 2011

AFC after Hammam

Hammam (right) seen here with Blatter

People say a lot of things about Mohamed Hammam, the man who headed the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) until recently.

I have met him a couple of times before but that's about it. Recently he got into trouble and has been accused of corrupt practices in the run up to FIFA's Presidential Election last month. Right now the case is pending a hearing by FIFA's Ethics Committee and for now Hammam, 62, is suspended and barred from holding any post in football.

AFC Senior Vice President, Zhang Jilong from China has been appointed the Acting President.

Well, I guess everyone knows all that has happened and many are confident that they know what the outcome will be. I am not sure because in football anything can happen on field as well as in the board-room.

Lately, I have been hearing that there are many who are keen to become the next AFC President. Maybe many are expecting the Qatari to face some form of sanction from the World body. The post of AFC President is a highly respectable position in football.

Many things are being said about Hammam, some accuse him of being a dictator and stuffs like that. I have no idea if that is true or not. But one thing is for sure - that man has set a new and high standard for the AFC Presidency - a standard which the next President will find it a challenge to equal.

Hammam would be recorded in history as the first hands-on President of the AFC.

He was there seven days a week, working, directing, planning and some would say, controlling everything he can lay his hands on. He was in charge and running football in Asia.

It would be interesting to see who would be willing to take the challenge and bring AFC to greater heights. If there is no such leader around, maybe Asia might Hammam to lead for a few more years.

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