Acting AFC Chief Promises Revolution After Bin Hammam Suspension

June 2, 2011

In replacing the suspended former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam, new acting president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Zhang Jilong promised a “revolution” to help repair the damage caused by the alleged bribery allegations involving the former chief.

Bin Hammam was provisionally suspended on Sunday, May 29, for allegedly trying to bribe members of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) to vote for him during the Presidential election.

Zhang has taken over, officially on a temporary basis, but gave the impression that he expects the Qatari to be handed a longer ban and for him to assume the role permanently.

Zhang told Chinese state broadcaster CCTV: “The Asian football environment is not that healthy.

“We need, let’s say, revolution. We need reform. Scandals such as Bin Hammam’s bribery allegations harm the sport’s beauty. Anyone who does not show transparency should pay for it.

“My priority at the new post is to ease the negative effect of Bin Hammam’s corruption allegations on Asian soccer. We should aim to improve the AFC’s operations and make it run more transparently.

“I hope to solidify the whole Asian soccer community and make the federation operate steadily after the crisis.”