If his election to the FIFA Council was not unprecedented enough, India's Praful Patel Saturday also addressed the delegation for the 29th Asian Football Confederation congress on behalf of its president. After becoming the first Indian to be inducted into the prestigious FIFA Council, Patel addressed delegates on behalf of the AFC president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, who was mourning the demise of his mother.
"I am extremely honoured at the level of support and trust that you have invested in me to lead the Asian football family again in the next four years," Patel said on behalf of Shaikh Salman. "I am sure that with your continued support and solidarity, we can all take Asian football to even greater heights.
"And to all those elected for the various roles – FIFA Council, AFC Vice President, Female representatives and AFC Executive Committee – congratulations." The Congress re-elected Shaikh Salman by acclamation as AFC president for a second four-year term until 2023.
"The hard work begins now. We have great foundations on which to build the future of our game in Asia, but the last four years have shown that success will only come through commitment," Shaikh Salman said through Patel, the president of All India Football Federation (AIFF). "In Asia and, particularly here at the AFC, we have built a positive reputation and image in the last six years. It has been an honour to serve as your President for the last six years and now I am looking to continue our work together.
"As I have said many times – this is Asia's time." PTI AH SSC SSC
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