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AFC takes decision of the future

684   //    30 Jul 2011, 09:00 IST

For the Asian Football Confederation, life continues after their former president Mohammed bin Hammam has been banned for life by world football governing body FIFA.

AFC Acting President Zhang Jilong was present this week for the first meeting of the AFC Competitions Committee for the 2011-2015 term, which was held under the chairmanship of UAE’s Yousef Al Serkal.

In his opening remarks, AFC Acting President Zhang Jilong told the members that organisation of competitions is the most important business of AFC. “Organising competitions is an integral part of AFC and we trust all of you to make it better,” he said.

“I hope that all of us will work together with unity and solidarity for the development of Asian football,” Jilong added.

A number of decisions were taken by the committee, which need to be ratified by the AFC Executive Committee to take effect.

The following are of interest to India

2012 AFC Challenge Cup – Nepal has been chosen to host the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup finals next year ahead of other bidders the Maldives and Palestine.

AFC Under-22 Championship – The AFC is creating a new tournament for Under-22 players on top of the continental Under-16 and Under-19 AFC Championships. The first edition of the biennial AFC U-22 Championship will be held in June 2013. The next edition of this competition in 2015 will serve as qualifiers for the 2016 Olympics. The format for the competition was also approved.

Other decisions taken:

AFC Asian Cup – A Task Force will be established to recommend a more competitive format for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

2014 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers – It was decided to use FIFA World Rankings to seed the teams for Round 4.

2012 London Olympics- The Round 4 playoff between three second-placed teams from Round 3 will be played in the neutral venue of Malaysia from March 25 to 29. The winning team of this playoff will play an African CAF representative for a place in the 2012 London Olympics.

I've been reporting about football since 1998 - as founder of IndianFootball.Com, for other publications &amp; have also worked for radio &amp; television. You can follow me on my "Arunava About Football" blog <a href="">ArunFoot</a> &amp; on <a href="">Twitter</a>
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