Asian Football Confederation: Mutiny in the air

Mohammed Bin Hammam, AFC president is thumbing his nose at FIFA directives that reinstate the voting rights of five countries in the AFC.
He had stripped these countries of their privileges at the behest of the ad-hoc legal committee’s recommendations. As per the committee four countries did not deserve representation because their participation in tournaments do not meet AFC standards.
The countries falling foul are Laos, Timor Leste, Mongolia and Afghanistan. The fifth country, Kuwait has an interim association not recognized by the AFC.
FIFA has recognized the tournaments and the Kuwaiti association as legitimate. They however, have questioned the AFC’s legal committee’s jurisdiction. As per FIFA “it has no competence to take any decision with legal effect” and secondly it’s up to the AFC Congress to decide about voting rights of member associations.
Mohammed Bin Hammam has been Asian football’s caretaker overseeing its revival since 2002. However, his increasingly authoritarian streak is causing many to throw their support behind Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa, from Bahrain who is challenging Hammam for a seat in the FIFA executive committee.
It is under Hammam’s watch that Australia was admitted to the Asia zone which has been acknowledged by them as a major factor in improving their game. He obviously has a stake in improving football in Asia but the standards applied to these five countries appear very arbitrary and in contravention of FIFA rules.

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