Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Elect a new President-lah

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) must hold presidential elections after former chief Mohamed Bin Hammam was banned for life by FIFA, Japan’s soccer chief said.

Japan Football Association (JFA) president Junji Ogura believes an immediate vote is essential after  Hammam was provisionally suspended by the AFC.

“(Hammam) has been banned for life so there is a need for elections to be held,” Ogura told local media  in Tokyo.

The election would also include a seat on FIFA’s executive committee, occupied by Hammam since 1996 before the Qatari was banned over a bribery allegations.

Hammam has protested his innocence and vowed to fight to clear his name.

China’s Zhang Jilong has been the caretaker AFC president since the scandal broke and has promised to tackle corruption in a clear sign he wants the job full-time.

The AFC is scheduled to meet on Friday to discuss the leadership crisis.

Japan lost their seat on FIFA’s executive committee in January when Kozo Tashima lost out in a ballot but he could be a candidate for AFC presidency and another crack at a seat at FIFA’s top table.
Ogura told Japanese media Hammam had written to him calling for his understanding and patience.

“He said he doesn’t think he has done anything wrong and that he has no intention of quitting as either AFC President or FIFA executive,” said Ogura.

The 62-year-old Hammam, AFC chief since 2002, was found guilty last Saturday of attempting to buy votes in the run-up to last month’s FIFA presidential election.

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