Football: AFC to seek 'best way forward' after Blatter resignation

Delegates and officials take part in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) regional Congress on April 30, 2015 in the Bahraini capital Manama. The AFC pledged on Wednesday to help "find the best way forward" for world football following the surprise
Delegates and officials take part in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) regional Congress on April 30, 2015 in the Bahraini capital Manama. The AFC pledged on Wednesday to help "find the best way forward" for world football following the surprise resignation of Fifa president Sepp Blatter. -- PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) pledged on Wednesday to help "find the best way forward" for world football following the surprise resignation of Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

In a brief statement, Asia's football governing body - which has been a key Blatter ally - said it "takes note" of his intention to step down, but refrained from taking a position on the matter.

"The AFC is closely monitoring the situation, and will discuss with its Member Associations and sister confederations in order to find the best way forward for both Fifa and world football," it said.

Blatter resigned on Tuesday as president of Fifa as pressure mounted over US and Swiss corruption investigations related to suspicions of bribery and questions over the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.

Blatter's planned exit throws open a contest to replace him.

Jordanian Prince Ali bin al Hussein, who challenged Blatter in last Friday's Fifa leadership vote, has signalled that he will be a candidate in a new election.

Asia has been a key ally of Blatter's, particularly AFC chief Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim al Khalifa, a Bahraini royal.

The AFC had expressed strong support for Blatter in last week's election.

The AFC has its own recent history of corruption allegations.

Its disgraced former president Mohamed bin Hammam was in 2012 banned from football for life in the wake of a "cash for votes" scandal stemming from an earlier Fifa presidential vote.