Zurich: Defeated candidate Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa (left) told new FIFA president Gianni Infantino that Asia can light the way for the global body “to reinstate football’s credibility”. Sheikh Salman, the head of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), lost out to UEFA secretary-general Infantino in Friday’s vote to succeed the banned Sepp Blatter.
Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa
The Bahraini royal said he was looking forward to working with the charismatic 45-year-old, multi-lingual lawyer.
“The AFC looks forward to working with the new-look FIFA and Gianni Infantino in order to reform the world football governing body and to reinstate football’s credibility globally,” said Sheikh Salman in a statement.
“Asia is the world’s most populous continent where football continues to develop at an impressive pace through its own reform process. the AFC will play an active role in the reform process.”
Despite his disappointment of losing out on the FIFA presidency, the sheikh called for unity as the sport’s ruling body looks to leave its scandal-hit recent past behind.
“In these unprecedented times world football needs unity. With the FIFA reform package having been voted through there is now real momentum for world football to reinstate its credibility,” he added.
“The new FIFA needs to become more inclusive and reflect the diversity of world football. I trust Gianni Infantino will provide the leadership to achieve this, as well as the rest of the reforms that are now urgently needed.”