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SBD Global/March 15, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Outgoing AFC President Zhang Jilong Tells Members To Restore Confederation's Glory

The Asian Football Confederation's outgoing acting President Zhang Jilong "has urged AFC members to restore the 'health and glory' of the continental governing body grappling with match-fixing scandals and corruption charges," according to Sudipto Ganguly of REUTERS. The AFC, which has been without a permanent president since Qatari Mohamed Bin Hammam was banned for life by FIFA for corruption and bribery, "will elect a new leader during its May 2 election." Zhang said in a statement: "AFC has really suffered in the recent past and it is our duty to restore it back to its health and glory. We are the guardians of Asian football and we should be seen as shining examples of honesty, integrity, and transparency." Zhang said that "he tried his best in his capacity as the caretaker administrator." Zhang said, "I am really honoured that I was entrusted with the caretaker job while the AFC was in its most difficult period. I am happy that I did my part to maintain the stability of AFC. I was able to lead successfully only because of your cooperation and support" (REUTERS, 3/14). XINHUA reported Zhang confirmed earlier this month that "he will not run for leadership election during the AFC Extraordinary Congress in May." He stressed that the decision was made "totally out of his own will and with careful thinking." He will stay on as senior VP of AFC (XINHUA, 3/13).
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