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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff
Mar 17, 2014

AFC chief to gain automatic FIFA seat

Electoral reforms within the Asian Football Confederation could see the next elected president secure an automatic seat on FIFA’s executive committee.

New AFC president Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa is likely to be faced with questions about power tussles in Asia
Shaikh Salman has been president of the AFC since May 2013.

FIFA ExCo seats are presently allotted via a voting system, although legislation could allow changes to be made in time for the 2015 election.

When asked about the likelihood of change happening, current AFC president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa claimed it is a possibility, telling InsideWorldFootball: "This is something that we are looking into."

Shaikh Salman beat Yousuf Al Serkal and Worawi Makudi for the AFC presidency, and Qatar's Hassan Al-Thawadi for a place on FIFA's ExCo during the last election and would be a strong contender to keep his seat.

And he has already outlined his desire to focus on Asian football and the need to bring stability to the region, saying: "As you are aware, Asia had its ups and downs lately. Asia went through a lot. That is why my focus is purely on Asia now."

Shaikh Salman also said that his relationship with Al-Thawadi and his other rivals were unaffected by electoral issues.

"My relations with everybody are OK," he said, adding that he doesn’t let professional problems "interfere in my line of work or even in the friendship that we had.

"It is the right of anybody to choose if they want to run."

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