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Manama: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Member Associations have on Monday elected Mahfuza Kiron (Bangladesh), Zhang Jian (China PR), Chung Mong Gyu (Korea Republic) and Mariano V. Araneta Jr. (Philippines) for the four places allocated to Asia on the FIFA Council at the AFC Congress 2017 in Manama, Bahrain.

With three male positions available, Zhang Jian, Chung Mong Gyu and Mariano V. Araneta Jr. secured their positions by acclamation. For the single female seat, Mahfuza Kiron secured the simple majority required, obtaining 27 votes over Australia’s Moya Dodd who received 17 votes in the first round after Han Un Gyong (DPR Korea) and Susan Shalabi Molano (Palestine) withdrew from the contest before the election.

As part of the FIFA Reforms, the AFC will now have seven members on the FIFA Council – an increase of three from before. The reforms also aim to increase the role of women in football governance and each Confederation will have one female representative on the new body. The term of office for all the FIFA Council Members is from 2017 until 2019.

AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa congratulated the four elected members for their win and commended all candidates for their hard work and commitment. Shaikh Salman said: “Let me be the first to congratulate the four successful candidates - Zhang, Chung, Mariano and Mahfuza - who will join us on the FIFA Council. I look forward to working with you to elevate Asian football on the world stage.

“This result is a testament to their dedication and passion towards the development of football in Asia. I am confident that Asia will provide four extremely capable and trustworthy members to represent the interests of our great game in the years to come.

“I must also thank the other candidates who came forward for the spirit of their campaigns as well as the Electoral Committee for organising a successful election.

“Today represents yet another step in the reform process – one that reinforces the unity, solidarity and commitment of Asian football.”

In addition to the places on the FIFA Council, four other elections were carried out. The members listed below were elected by acclamation after the number of vacancies were matched by the number of candidates, in accordance with Article 24.2 of the AFC Statutes. 

AFC Vice President (East)
Chung Mong Gyu (Korea Republic)

Independent Head of Integrity:
Mr Mohammad Ali Al Kamali (UAE)

AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Committee: 
Mr Yousif Mohd Yaqoobi, Member (Bahrain)

Entry Control Body:
Mr Liu Chi, Chairman (China PR)
Judge Rauf Soulio, Deputy Chairman (Australia)
Mr Nandan Kamath, Deputy Chairman (India)
Mr Ahmadreza Barati, Deputy Chairman (Islamic Republic of Iran) 
Mr Bandar Al Hamidani, Deputy Chairman (Saudi Arabia)

For full details of the AFC President’s speech, please click here.

Mariano V. Araneta Jr.
“I’d like to thank everyone for having supported us and we promise not to let them down. We will do our best when representing Asia at the FIFA Council.”

Zhang Jian
Thank you so much and thanks for your support. I will be the voice of the AFC whilst at FIFA. We have our Vision and Mission, so I will try my best to work with the AFC Member Associations and raise the level of football throughout Asia.”

Chung Mong Gyu
I feel very privileged and humbled to be elected to the FIFA Council. I think I’ve been working to be elected throughout the last two years and now that I have been elected, I feel a lot of responsibilities to represent Asia and FIFA well, so I will do my best.”

Mahfuza Khiron
I’m able grateful to have been elected. It is an honour. I will always look to further develop women’s football in Asia and I am fully committed to that.”

Photos: AFC