Asian elections for FIFA Council postponed a 2nd time

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) " The Asian Football Confederation has postponed elections to choose FIFA Council delegates for a second time.

The Asian governing body on Wednesday canceled a Feb. 28 meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which was to replace an election congress cut short in India in September. That was amid an apparent protest against the FIFA ethics committee for excluding a Qatari candidate.

The three vacant FIFA seats for Asia, including one for women, and the position held by Olympic powerbroker Sheik Ahmad of Kuwait will now be voted on in Manama, Bahrain, on the sidelines of the FIFA Congress on May 11.

The AFC said the change was made to fit with a new schedule of FIFA Council meetings. FIFA's ruling panel will have its first meeting of the year in January instead of March in Zurich, leaving the usual May meeting as the first opportunity for newly elected delegates to take part.

Asia is the only one of FIFA's six continental confederations to miss a September deadline to elect new positions, including at least one woman from each region, on an expanded 37-member council chaired by President Gianni Infantino.

Four candidates " from Qatar, China, Iran and Singapore " were competing for two men's seats in Goa, India, and the women's election had three candidates, from Australia, Bangladesh and North Korea.

Days before the election, Qatar soccer federation vice president Saoud Al-Mohannadi was excluded during a FIFA ethics investigation into claims he refused to cooperate with a previous ethics case. He has since been banned for one year.

A key part of FIFA reforms after years of corruption scandals is that all new candidates for senior positions must pass an integrity and eligibility check.

Sheik Ahmad, a longtime influential IOC member, joined the FIFA Council last year and was announced last month to be standing for another two-year term instead of the usual four-year mandate.

He has continued his FIFA duties despite Kuwait being banned from international soccer for the past year. FIFA and the IOC intervened in a dispute over government interference in the independent management of Kuwait's national soccer and Olympic bodies.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 11 Dec 2016 01:11:12 Processing Time: 404ms