Asian elections for FIFA council postponed over Qatari ban

Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:29am EDT
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By Sudipto Ganguly

PANAJI, India (Reuters) - Asia's top soccer officials delivered a major snub to FIFA on Tuesday, forcing the postponement of an election for three spots on the world body's new governing Council in a row over the disqualification of a Qatari candidate.

With FIFA President Gianni Infantino watching on, delegates to an Asian Football Confederation extraordinary congress, which had been called to conduct the election, voted down the agenda.

Forty two of the 44 members who had voting rights at Tuesday's meeting raised a "No" card when AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa called for the agenda of the meeting to be passed.

"This has been an eventful morning - and an eventful few weeks," Shaikh Salman told the gathering. "But the Congress has spoken with one voice and that has been clear for us all to see.

"FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, I am not sure if you have been at a shorter Congress but I think you can see the strength of opinion in the room."

World governing body FIFA banned Qatari Saoud Al-Mohannadi from the election on Sunday because of an ongoing ethics investigation, leaving insufficient time for new candidates to join the six remaining in the field.

Singapore, who had their FA chief Zainudin Nordin as one of the candidates for the FIFA Council elections, voted in favor of the agenda while another member abstained.

The AFC will set a new date for an extraordinary congress in consultation with FIFA, AFC secretary general Windsor John said.   Continued...