Asian Football Body Ready To 'Turn The Page' On Bin Hammam Era
The Asian Football Confederation "finally looks ready to turn the page on an era of bribery allegations and intrigue by announcing moves to replace suspended President Mohamed bin Hammam," according to the AFP. The AFC exec committee said that if it reaches a unanimous decision to hold presidential elections next year it demonstrates "unusual unity" in a body "better known for in-fighting." A witness, who did not want to be named, said, "Even his (bin Hammam's) ardent supporters said they wanted to go ahead... I was pretty surprised. It was the quickest item on the agenda." Leadership elections, at a congress meeting in April, would "banish a long period of turmoil and uncertainty" after bin Hammam was accused of bribery during FIFA's '11 presidential vote and banned from football activities. The Qatari businessman's long fight to clear his name "appears to be wearing thin" among the 46 member associations of the AFC. The witness added, "Everybody's fed up. I have spoken to all the member association presidents, they're all fed up" (AFP, 11/30).