Football: AFC boss 'confident' next Fifa leader will be Asian

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa.
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa.PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Asia's football chief has won unanimous backing from his executive committee as the man to "rebuild Fifa", as he strengthens his campaign to take over the corruption-tarnished world body.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) exco also pledged to lobby its members to support president Sheikh Salman Ebrahim Al Khalifa, in a meeting ahead of Sunday's AFC awards.

The Bahraini royal will appear before hundreds of delegates at the awards show in New Delhi after emerging as a leading candidate for the Feb 26 FIFA presidential vote.

"As head of one of Fifa's biggest confederations, and with the backing of powerful Kuwaiti Fifa exco member Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, Sheikh Salman is among the strongest of the five current candidates.

In a sign of his rising fortunes, the AFC boss said he was "confident" the next Fifa head would come from Asia, a development which would break new ground for world football.

The former ally of suspended Fifa chief Sepp Blatter faces challenges from Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino and Asian rival Prince Ali Al Hussein of Jordan, who have both pledged a path of reform.