Kuala Lumpur, Jan 8: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will support incumbent Joseph "Sepp" Blatter in the FIFA presidential election, its general secretary said on Thursday. AFC general secretary Dato Alex Soosay revealed this stance despite FIFA’s vice–president for Asia – Prince Ali – recently disclosing his decision to contest the election against Blatter. Jordanian Prince Ali joined Frenchman Jerome Champagne in deciding to stand against the 78–year–old Blatter who has been in the hot seat since 1998 and is seeking a fifth term as FIFA’s top man.
Soosay told BBC that AFC’s members have agreed in principle to back Blatter at their congress in Melbourne on Wednesday.
"And I think that sentiment still remains. But I’m not here to stop anyone from having their own rights. The election is independent and democratic," he was quoted as saying by BBC on Thursday. "We made a pledge in the congress in Brazil that the entire Asian football family was supporting the FIFA president. As Asia we should also stay together and be united rather than divided."
Votes of AFC members are believed to be of prime importance in deciding who will win the May elections in Zurich. FIFA has suffered a loss of face after several corruption allegations surfaced during Blatter’s 17–year reign. IANS