Asian soccer tries again in February to elect FIFA delegates

KUALA LUMPUR: The Asian Football Confederation will try again to elect three delegates for FIFA's ruling council at a rescheduled meeting in February.

Last month in India, Asian soccer leaders called off elections at a 27-minute congress to protest against a FIFA ethics investigation into Qatari candidate Saoud Al-Mohannadi.

The AFC said Saturday that the elections will now be held Feb. 28 in its home city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

FIFA's ethics committee blocked Al-Mohannadi from standing for one of the two vacant FIFA seats just days before the original poll. The Qatar soccer federation vice president had allegedly not cooperated in a previous ethics case which was not specified.

That decision was seen by some of the AFC's 47 member federations as unwanted interference from Zurich. It also improved the election prospects of Iran's Ali Kafashian. The other candidates were China's Zhang Jian and Zainudin Nordin of Singapore.

The third FIFA seat is reserved for women. The candidates in September were: Moya Dodd of Australia, North Korea's Han Un Gyong and Mafuza Akhter of Bangladesh.

The three new seats on the expanded and rebranded 37-member FIFA Council have two-year mandates to 2019.

In February, the existing FIFA Council seat of Sheik Ahmad Fahad Al Ahmad Al Sabah, the influential Olympic power broker from Kuwait, is also due for re-election for two more years.

Sheik Ahmad has continued his FIFA duties despite Kuwait being banned from international soccer for the past year. FIFA intervened in a dispute over government interference in the independent management of Kuwait's national soccer body.