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Kuala Lumpur: Shaikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President, has been ranked by ESPN network as among the 50 Most Influential People In Football for 2017. 

The list, which was published for the first time in 2015, includes FIFA President Gianni Infantino and the Presidents of the various Football Confederations and National Football Associations, in addition to current and former players and coaches.

ESPN rated Shaikh Salman among the leaders in world football for the respect he has in the world football family and his experience and capabilities in leading Asian football.

The network also highlighted the AFC's success since Shaikh Salman became president in May 2013, uniting the Asian football family and developing the various AFC competitions. Shaikh Salman's efforts to fight corruption and match-fixing through strict policies and making Asia a favourite destination to host global events were also cited by ESPN.

ESPN also highlighted the AFC President's role in FIFA, in which Shaikh Salman holds several positions, including being the Chairman of the FIFA Development Committee which last year recommended to FIFA to raise the grant for Member Associations to US$5 million from US$4 million.  

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