AFC president Hammam comes calling to seek India vote

March 12th, 2009 - 7:36 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 12 (IANS) Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohammad Bin Hammam Thursday completed his brief visit to India to campaign for the FIFA executive committee elections in May.
Hammam arrived here Wednesday evening in his private jet with a nine-member team and was received by All Indian Football Federation (AIFF) vice-presidents Subrata Dutta and A.R. Khaleel.

Hammam then went to a city hospital to see AIFF president Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, who is in coma after suffering a cardiac attack last year.

The AFC president also attended the official dinner hosted by the AIFF and left Thursday morning to continue his election campaign.

Hammam, a Qatari national, has held the West Asia FIFA seat since 1996, and Bahrain’s Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa had a good chance of dislodging him during the AFC Congress in May. Asia has four seats on the FIFA executive committee.

During the dinner, Hammam, who is a close ally of FIFA president Sepp Blatter, reportedly said he has 31 votes and is confident of winning.

In recent months, Hammam had come under fire for a controversial plan to shift the AFC headquarters from Malaysia. The move was criticised by, among others, FIFA vice-president Chung Mong-Joon of South Korea.

South Korea’s football body also demanded an apology from Hammam, who in a television interview reportedly insulted Korean Football Association (KFA) chief Cho Jung-Yeon by saying he was ready to “cut Cho’s head off.”

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