3 May 2013

Bin Hammam era ends

5:52 am on 3 May 2013

Asian football has finally got rid of tainted former leader Mohamed Bin Hammam, voting in the Qatari's sworn enemy Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain as president in a move that strengthened the hand of FIFA head Sepp Blatter.

Controversial Sheikh Salman made a mockery of predictions that it would be a tight race by sweeping to a landslide victory against Worawi Makudi of Thailand and Yousuf Al Serkal of the United Arab Emirates, both Bin Hammam allies.

The victory allowed the AFC to finally move on, the door now firmly closed on the sorry Bin Hammam episode which started almost two years ago when the Qatari attempted to oust Blatter from the role of FIFA president.

Bin Hammam withdrew from the election in Zurich in 2011 and was banned for life by FIFA for bribery and vote buying. The Qatari contested the charge in a lengthy battle and two years of uncertainty started as the AFC struggled without the authoritative voice of their powerful and well respected leader.