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LAHORE: Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat has become first Pakistani to be elected as vice president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) unopposed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Saturday, according to a press release issued by his faction of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) on Saturday.

“Faisal Salah Hayat makes history to be elected as the vice president of Asian Football Confederation, significantly, unopposed,” the press release said.

“In the Asian Football Confederation Congress held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on April 6, 2019, he was announced as the vice president after fulfilling the formalities. He will serve the position for a term of four years,” it further said.

On the other hand, Shaikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa has also been elected unopposed as the President of AFC once again.

Faisal, the first ever Pakistani to hold such a powerful position at the Asian level, thanked Almighty Allah for bagging the honour at AFC. “I am deeply thankful to Almighty Allah on my election as the vice president of AFC and it is a matter of pride for the whole Pakistani nation,” he said. “I will play a strong and positive role in the years to come for the development of football in Asia and Pakistan’s football will also be supported.”

It may be mentioned here that Faisal earned the distinction at a juncture when FIFA and AFC both are sending its fact finding mission to Pakistan to analyse the current situation prevailing in the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF). While the FIFA and AFC still recognise Faisal’s group as the genuine one running the PFF affairs, his rival group of Syed Ashfaq Hussain has taken control of the FIFA House as a result of the elections held under the order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2019