Asia football chief Mohamad Bin Hammam has urged the continent to rally behind him on Thursday in his bid to defeat Sepp Blatter in the forthcoming FIFA presidential elections.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) chief said the entire region should support this “Asian project”.
“I’m hoping that this attempt is going to be an Asian project, being for all of Asia,” the 61-year-old Qatari told reporters after a South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) seminar.
“I’m representing all of you in this room and all of you in this continent. I will have to seek your support and I wish that every one of you pray that Asia will succeed in giving a FIFA president this time.”
Bin Hammam insisted the election was in the balance and claimed there was a mood for change that could help him end Blatter’s 13-year reign as president.
“I gave myself a 50 percent chance and I hope this 50 percent grows,” he added.
“It’s not about competing against one who has been in the seat for so long. The idea is, a lot of people are looking forward to changes and are looking forward to new ideas. With their support, the number can grow further.”
He was virtually assured of SAFF’s support by its president Kazi Salahuddin and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) chief Praful Patel.
“I enjoy a very good relationship with the AIFF and Praful Patel is like a brother. I see India as a supporter of my efforts,” said Bin Hammam.
The Qatari also promised to focus on developing the game further in the world’s India and China.
“Even now you can see how much we are interested to promote the game in India,” he continued. “I’m the president of a confederation which comprises two-thirds of the world population and two-thirds of these people are living in two countries – India and China.
“We are going to strengthen our efforts in these two countries because developing football in India and China means developing the game in two-thirds of Asia.”