The weight of Asian football administration is leaning more toward the Middle East.
While the Middle East dominates the trend, it seems to be drawing Southeast Asia to the same side.
If you look at the results of the FIFA Council member elections revealed at the 33rd Asian Football Federation (AFC) General Assembly held in Manama, Bahrain on the 1st (Korean time), the power of the ‘Middle East + Southeast Asia’ connection is well revealed.
For a total of five spots, Chairman Chung and Du Zhaokai (China), Kelp Gozo (Japan), Mariano Araneta (Philippines), Sheikh Ahmad Khalifa Al Thani (Qatar), Yasser Al Michelle (Saudi Arabia), Datuk Haji Hamiddin Among seven candidates, including (Malaysia), ran, two East Asian figures, including Chairman Chung and Du Zhaokai, failed.
Al Thani received the most votes with 40 votes, followed by Kelp with 39 votes, Al Misial with 35 votes, Araneta with 34 votes, and Hamiddin with 30 votes to become the winner. 메이저놀이터
Al Michelle is the head of the Saudi Arabian Football Association and is a representative soccer figure in Saudi Arabia who also served as the president of his country’s professional league in the past.
With this congress, he became Saudi Arabia’s second member of the FIFA Council, paving the way for him to expand his influence on the international football stage.
The person who was pushed out after he was elected was Du Zhaoka, vice-president of the Chinese Football Association and current member of the FIFA Council. China is known to have influence from East Asia to Southeast Asia.
In fact, the two Jaokai were elected as members of the council four years ago, beating Chung Mong-gyu, president of the Korea Football Association.
But this time it was different. He fell behind Chairman Chung and had to give up his council member seat with the lowest number of votes.
Along with the Middle East, it is also noteworthy that two more Southeast Asian soccer figures have entered in addition to the existing Araneta.
This is because Hamiddin was elected in this election, and Kaniya Keomani, a Lao nationality, was also selected as a female member of the committee, and entered FIFA.
As a result, at this general meeting, Bahraini-born Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, who ran for the AFC president and FIFA vice-president alone and succeeded in a second term, was appointed to represent Asia in the Council, a key decision-making body for FIFA, with three from the Middle East and one from Southeast Asia. 3 people were included.
In addition to the two regions, in East Asia, South Asia, and Central Asia, all three regions are combined, leaving only one kelp chairman.
People familiar with the administration of domestic and Asian football are looking at whether the influence of the Middle East within the AFC has become so powerful that it does not allow the forces to check.
It is said that the Middle East seduced Southeast Asian soccer figures with ‘oil money’ and made them one team. The fact that the two Jaokai were pushed out is also attributed to the influence of this ‘Middle East + Southeast Asia’ connection.
One soccer player interpreted, “The future task of Middle Eastern football is to host the World Cup in Saudi Arabia, and as the first step to this, it seems that the AFC’s control has been further strengthened and the council members have been filled with the people they want.”
As a result of the General Assembly election, Korea is expected to further shrink its narrow position in Asian football diplomacy.
Already last year, when it failed to use its strength and lost to Qatar in the bid for the 2023 Asian Cup, there were many criticisms that its diplomatic power was in a difficult situation to restore.
Subsequently, Chairman Chung was humiliated again in the council member election following 2019. In 2011, after Jeong Mong-joon, the honorary chairman of the current Korea Football Association, was defeated for the FIFA vice-presidentship, he went down to the bottom.