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Zhang Jilong will be acting president, says AFC

06-01-2011 09:24 BJT

China's Zhang Jilong has temporarily taken charge of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) after president Mohamed bin Hammam was suspended, according an AFC statement posted on its website on Tuesday.

A photo grab of the AFC official website shows a statement from AFC Executive Committee
saying Zhang will be the acting president after bin Hammam's suspansion, May 31, 2011.

"In light of the decision taken by the FIFA Ethics Committee regarding AFC President Mohammed Bin Hammam, the AFC's most senior vice-president, Mr Zhang Jilong will be the acting president," said the statement.

Mohamed bin Hammam, also a FIFA executive member, plans to appeal against his suspension over bribery allegations.

Zhang Jilong in the April 2011 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]

The AFC will be following the investigation as it takes its course, and will continue its work in promoting and further developing Asian football in the spirit of Asian unity and solidarity," said the statement.

Zhang's appointment was automatic under AFC rules following bin Hammam's suspension, said Peter Velappan, who was the Asian body's general secretary for 30 years.

"The deputy president of the AFC, Zhang Jilong of China, takes over with immediate effect," Velappan said from Zurich, where he is a guest of FIFA ahead of this week's congress.

"In the absence of a president, the deputy president will become the acting president. Bin Hammam cannot oppose this development."

Velappan left the AFC in 2007 after a public falling-out with bin Hammam, and the two are known rivals. Bin Hammam was running for the FIFA presidency until dramatically pulling out on Sunday, hours before his suspension.

Zhang's appointment would add a new twist to the rollercoaster of intrigue which has characterised football's global leadership in recent days.

Zhang was a candidate for FIFA's executive committee in January but the two slots up for grabs went to Sri Lanka's Manilal Fernando and Worawi Makudi of Thailand, who are both bin Hammam allies.

Profile of Acting Asian football chief Zhang Jilong

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Mohamed Bin Hammam (R) poses with Vice-
President Zhang Jilong during an event in Kuala Lumpur, in this March 15, 2011 file
photo. [Photo/Agencies]

Position: Asian Football Association acting president

Date and Place of Birth: Born February 1952, in Yantai, a coastal city in East China's Shandong province;

Education: English language major at the Beijing International Studies University, Beijing, China;

Key Facts:

May 31, 2011
As the most senior vice-president, Zhang Jilong is to take charge of the Asian Football Confederation and exercise the competence of AFC president in the absence of former head Mohammad bin Hammam, who was suspended over FIFA bribery allegations.

Zhang Jilong has been prominent in AFC for many years; is currently serving as AFC's most senior vice-president, Chairman of AFC Finance Committee, and AFC Executive Committee members.

July 3, 2009
Zhang was confirmed as the successor to Wei Jizhong, president of the International Volleyball Federation, as chairman of the Sports Committee for the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) at the 28th OCA General Assembly; promoted as the OCA executive committee member.

January 2009
Zhang was assigned as director of the China International Sports Exchange Center.

November 2008
Zhang was appointed deputy director of the Chinese Football Administration Center.

Zhang was the sports minister of the organizing committee for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games; also a member of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee.

Zhang was in charge of football-related foreign affairs after returning from Nigeria after a three-year aid program; was appointed deputy chairman of the Chinese Football Association and deputy director of the Chinese Football Administration Center under the General Administration of Sport of China.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: China Daily

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