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miércoles, 11 de agosto de 2010

Blatter lauds Bin Hamman for progress of Asian football


FIFA President Sepp Blatter has hailed AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam for changing the face of Asian football since taking over the governing body of Asian football.
Blatter pointed out how significant the progress of Asian football was in the just concluded 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
"I would like to congratulate the Asian teams and the Asian referees' performances in (the FIFA World Cup Finals in) South Africa. They were outstanding," he said at the press conference in conjunction with the inaugural Youth Olympic Games 2010 in Singapore on Wednesday.
Both Japan and Korea Republic reached the second round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup for the first time outside of their home soil. Japan lost only by penalties to Paraguay and the Koreans were knocked out after extra-time to eventual semi-finalists Uruguay.
Blatter also gave his seal of approval to AFC’s motto ‘The Future is Asia’.
"Something has changed, positively, since Mohamed (Bin Hammam) took over AFC,” said Blatter. “AFC is the biggest football confederation in the world, not just in terms of population but also in the football aspect and economically.
"In terms of administration and organisation, AFC is really professional. From Vision Asia, the AFC Champions League to the development of referees, AFC are doing very well. What AFC needs to do is to maintain, and fully establish its enormous potential, and this goes to the Member Associations as well.
"This (Asian football achievement) is all due to the hard work of my friend, AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam. He has made so much efforts to take Asian football to a new height. He has contributed so much to the rapid progress of Asian football.
"I can only agree that 'The Future is Asia'," he said.
Blatter brushed aside the suggestion that China's bid for FIFA World Cup 2026 would jeopardise Asian countries’ chances of winning the rights to host the FIFA World Cup 2022.
"The decision on the FIFA World Cup 2018 and 2022 will only be made in December this year. Every bidding country’s chance is equal and I am wishing them the best of luck.”
Bin Hammam welcomed Blatter and the FIFA delegation to the Youth Olympic Games 2010 in Singapore.
"I would like to congratulate Singapore on their selection to host the first ever Youth Olympics. I hope more people will come to support every level of football tournament in the world, especially in Asia,” said Bin Hammam.
"Football is for all," added the AFC chief.
The U-15 Boys' and Girls' competition will be played between August 12 and 26 at the Jalan Besar Stadium. The playing time is made up of two periods of 40 minutes with a half-time break of 15 minutes.

***(From left to right) AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam, FIFA President Sepp Blatter and FIFA Vice President Dr Chung Mong-joon

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