x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

UAE FA's Yousuf Al Serkal may be in line to replace Zhang Jilong at AFC

Yousuf Al Serkal, head of the UAE Football Association, is being mentioned as a possible candidate for the presidency of the Asian Football Confederation.

Yousuf Al Serkal, chairman of the interim committee of the UAE FA, may be in line to become the AFC's next president at the election in May.
Yousuf Al Serkal, chairman of the interim committee of the UAE FA, may be in line to become the AFC's next president at the election in May.

KUALA LUMPUR // Asia's football body will elect a new leader in May, hoping to move past nearly two years of turmoil over allegations of bribery and other misdeeds by their former chief Mohamed bin Hammam.

The Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) caretaker leader Zhang Jilong said in a statement that the regional governing body would hold a congress in Kuala Lumpur, where it is based, on May 2 to choose a president.

Yousuf Al Serkal, the head of the UAE Football Association and also the AFC vice-president, could stand for the role. The Emirati has stated his aim to run for presidency on previous occasions.

He was unavailable for comment on Thursday.

Zhang, the front-runner for the role, said nominations would close on March 3, 60 days ahead of the extraordinary congress.

The AFC has also opened nominations for a female vice-president, two female members on the AFC executive committee and one position on the Fifa Executive Committee.

"We, as guardians of AFC and Asian football, must make sure that the continent scales newer heights each year," Zhang said in a statement.

Al Serkal said late last year that the uncertainty over the leadership of the confederation "has been damaging for Asian football.

"It is has been unfortunate that something like that happened to the AFC at a time when we are trying to develop and improve the standard of football and that depends on the image and sponsorships of the AFC," Al Serkal added

Bin Hammam, 63, was accused of trying to buy votes in Fifa's 2011 presidential vote as he launched a leadership challenge against Sepp Blatter and was banned from football.

The Qatari formally resigned as AFC leader in December, shortly after Fifa's ethics committee launched a new probe into corruption claims against him.

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