Wednesday 01 February 2023, 12:00

Gianni Infantino congratulates Shaikh Salman on re-election as AFC President

  • FIFA President attends 33rd AFC Congress in Manama

  • Gianni Infantino says re-election was a testament to Shaikh Salman’s work for Asian football

  • Shaikh Salman says AFC looks forward to strengthening its partnership with FIFA

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has congratulated Shaikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa on being re-elected as the President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) during the 33rd AFC Congress in Manama, Bahrain. Shaikh Salman stood unopposed and will serve a third term as AFC President.

"I want to congratulate and commend Shaikh Salman for being unopposed at this election; this is really a testament to the great, great work he has been doing for Asian football," said the FIFA President. "The commitment, the passion, the dedication and the results, at the end of the day, of Asian football are really a testimony to the work of Shaikh Salman."

For the first time in the history of the FIFA World Cup ™, three AFC sides progressed to the knockout stages at last year's tournament in Qatar and Gianni Infantino paid tribute to the "incredible passion" for football across Asia.

"Asian football is really very, very strong. There is much, much more to come,” he said. “And, I'm very much looking forward to continuing this great collaboration between FIFA and AFC; between myself and Shaikh Salman, between myself and our administration and all of you: working together to make football truly global to unite the world around a ball, around a passion, around a commitment."

"Now, I'm of course thanking you for your support and your trust in myself and in this new FIFA that we have been building all together," said Mr Infantino, who will stand unopposed for re-election at the 73rd FIFA Congress on 16 March. "(It is) a new FIFA which invests a lot in football, of course, in infrastructure and in stadiums, but in all of you and all of your countries through the Forward programme."

In his opening remarks, Shaikh Salman reiterated Asian football's support for Gianni Infantino. 

"The Asian football family is delighted that next month, you will be confirmed as the FIFA President for another term. The AFC and its members look forward to strengthening our partnership with FIFA," he said. "The FIFA World Cup 2022 ™ showed the global community that this is indeed Asia's time. Asia stood tall amongst the world's elite, and our teams showcased our best-ever group stage performance and I congratulate once again FIFA and Qatar for delivering a celebration like no other."

Mariano Araneta Jr (Philippines) and Kohzo Tashima (Japan) were re-elected to the FIFA Council, and Datuk Haji Hamidin Bin Haji Mohn Amin (Malaysia), Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani (Qatar), Yasser H. Almisehal (Saudi Arabia) and Kanya Keomany (Laos) were elected to the FIFA Council for the first time.