The Asian football chief Mohamed Bin Hammam has narrowly retained his seat on the Fifa executive board by the narrow margin of two votes. The Qatari, who has held the seat unopposed since 1996, beat off the challenge of Bahrain's Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al Khalifa by 23 votes to 21 in yesterday's Asian Football Confederation (AFC) vote, although there were two spoiled papers which were not counted in the final total.
Bin Hammam, who was branded "mentally ill" and likened to the head of a crime organisation in astonishing personal attacks which characterised the campaign against him, will now represent West Asia on the Fifa committee for another four-year term. The respective campaigns had been dogged by allegations of dirty tricks, intimidation and corruption But Bin Hammam said: "I promise you that I am going to do more than I have done in the past.
"For those who chose not to support me today I also promise them I will do my best to have your confidence and trust in me next time. "Asia needs all of us, both camps. We need to work hand in hand and we need to work together." Bin Hammam's re-election to the FIFA seat coincided with the appointment of Australia's Moya Dodd to the AFC Executive. Football Federation of Australia chairman Frank Lowy said: "It is wonderful to have an Australian on the executive of the AFC and Moya is a great representative for us."
Moya's new role also makes her the first woman to serve on the AFC Executive. It was also agreed at the meeting that a vote on whether to shift the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) headquarters away from Kuala Lumpur should be called off. * Reuters