AFC vote strengthens possible Sepp Blatter challenge

Chung Mong-Joon, a long-serving FIFA vice-president, today lost his seat in an election result that could major implications for the future leadership of world football.

The Korean, who has been a FIFA executive member for 16 years, lost to Jordan's Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein by 25 votes to 20 at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) congress in Doha.

Although Chung was a long-time critic of FIFA president Sepp Blatter, Prince Ali's victory is a further sign of the strengthening of the power of AFC president Mohamed Bin Hammam, who was re-elected by acclamation at the congress.

Bin Hammam, the Qatari who secured the 2022 World Cup for his country last month, is the man most likely to challenge Blatter for FIFA president in May.

Although Blatter will shed no tears for Chung, who said in September he may stand for FIFA president himself, the growing powerbase of Bin Hammam will be a cause for concern.

Bin Hammam was the only candidate for the position as AFC president, the post the 61-year-old has held for the last eight years.

Earlier, Blatter had told the congress that FIFA were suffering criticism due to people envious of their success - Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness yesterday called the organisation "scandalous".

Blatter said: "All these successes have created a lot of envy and jealousy in our world because you cannot satisfy everybody.

"The success story of FIFA can continue because we are in a comfortable situation, despite the criticism given to FIFA.

"We have the power and the instruments to go against any attacks that are made."

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