Asian confederation confirm backing for Sheikh Salman in FIFA race
Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa
Asian federations were urged to back AFC president Sheikh Salman at a meeting in Kuala Lumpur Wednesday.
AFC marketing committee chairman Richard Lai said: "Our vision is One Asia, One Goal. Our goal is a united Asia and to demonstrate that we must unite behind our president in the FIFA election.
"At present Asia has two candidates for the FIFA presidency. We must unite behind the one who will deliver these reforms and that is the AFC president. The AFC should not just support the reform process but be a part of it."
The AFC executive committee had already endorsed Sheikh Salman, who also has the backing of the African confederation CAF.
The Asian confederation has 46 votes and the African confederation 59 votes in the election in Zurich on February 26.
A two-thirds majority of 209 eligible voters is required to win in the first round, and a simple majority will be needed in subsequent rounds.
It is thought likely that not all national federations will follow their confederation endorsements.
Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan could pick up some of the Asian votes, while UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino has the support of the European governing body, which has 53 votes.
Infantino has also won the endorsement of the South American confederation CONMEBOL, which has 10 votes, and the support of the seven Central American members of CONCACAF, the North and Central America and the Caribbean confederation, which has 35 votes.
The CONCACAF executive committee will reportedly not follow the examples of other confederations and endorse a candidate.
The two other candidates are former FIFA official Jerome Champagne of France and South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale.