Asian soccer body plans presidential election

The Asian Football Confederation plans to elect a president next

April, ending uncertainty since FIFA suspended incumbent Mohamed

bin Hammam in May 2011.

AFC acting president Zhang Jilong says the election congress

will be organized by mid-January, depending on advice from its

legal committee.

At the Asian body’s last assembly in January 2011, bin Hammam

was elected unopposed to a four-year term in Doha, Qatar.

Bin Hammam then challenged Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency

but withdrew when FIFA investigated allegations that he bribed

voters.

The Qatari official got his life ban overturned, but is still

suspended while FIFA’s ethics prosecutor weighs fresh charges over

alleged mismanagement of AFC finances and contracts.

Zhang, who assumed bin Hammam’s FIFA executive committee seat,

pledges to deliver ”a new era of transparency.”