Politics poison Asian football on election day

An Arabic metaphor is misunderstood by South Korean football officials and sets the tone for the poisonous state of affairs that Asian football finds itself in.
The AFC is becoming increasingly fractious under the weight of its 46 constituent, the largest regional group with a varied cultural, economic, and political background adding to the complexity. On the eve of the elections to the FIFA executive committee, divisive factors are coming into play which will decide whether the AFC truly serves Asian football in the best possible way or needs restructuring to accommodate more manageable regional aspirations. There seems to be a gathering sense that the AFC could be partitioned into West Asia and East Asia entities.
The simmering feud between two antagonists, Mohammed Bin Hammam and Chung Moon-Joon is expected to take center stage and influence the outcome of the elections.
Mohammed Bin Hammam, present AFC president and FIFA executive member who is said to be close to Sepp Blatter and whose personal initiative in professionalizing clubs and Vision Asia programs have been widely acknowledged in improving Asian standards. Opposing him is FIFA vice president Chung Mong-Joon, who was seen as a prime mover in the successful organization of the 2002 World Cup because of his powerful connections to the Hyundai conglomerate who took over the entire operation.
Both men have alleged ambitions to succeed Sepp Blatter as FIFA president and have engaged in a war of words to marginalize the other. Bin Hammam accuses Chung Joon-Moon of being a soccer ingenue whose sole purpose is to unseat him to gain the FIFA presidency whereas Joon-Moon issues broadsides which question the Qatari’s mental competence and accuse him of financial mismanagement. Moon-Joon believes that under Bin Hammam the AFC is run as a dictatorship.
The South Korean is supporting the candidacy of Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, a Bahraini royal to succeed Bin Hammam in this election. It appears the Gulf royal families are coalescing to undercut support for Bin Hammam. Peter Vellappan, a former Bin Hammam protege and ex- AFC general secretary, whose relationship has soured with his former boss is the public voice of opposition.
However, Sheikh Salman also does not seem to be above board and is being investigated by FIFA’s ethics committee for using development funds to buy votes.
Bin Hammam has vowed that he will also step aside as AFC president, if defeated.
In the end, the campaign to oust Bin Hammam as an out of touch overlord who treats the AFC as his personal fiefdom and goes against FIFA regulations may not be enough because the timeline of Asian success and his own personal ascension are quite tightly interlinked.

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