Zainudin pulls out of Fifa council contest
Former Football Association of Singapore (FAS) president Zainudin Nordin has dropped out of the race for a seat on the council of world football governing body Fifa, along with Qatar's Saoud Al-Mohannadi.
Yesterday, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced a new list of eight candidates in the running for one of four seats on Fifa's highest decision-making body, but with Zainudin's name missing along with that of Al-Mohannadi.
As one of four men originally put forward for one of three seats on the council - one spot is reserved for a female candidate - Zainudin was in with a chance for a Fifa seat but, at an AFC Extraordinary Congress last year when voting was to take place, Asia took a strong stand.
Member nations seemed to take a united stance against Fifa by voting 42-1 against the agenda, with the continent instead moving to call off the congress.
The AFC move came after Fifa barred Al-Mohannadi from running for a seat on the council, following a Fifa Ethics Committee investigation.
Zainudin's vote - as FAS president - was the one that stood alone.
"Fifa president, Gianni Infantino, I'm not sure if you have been at a shorter congress, but you can see the strength of opinion in the room," said AFC president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa to Infantino, who was in attendance on that day.
AFC will vote on its candidates for the Fifa council on May 8 in Bahrain.
The new list sees four male candidates: China's Zhang Jian, Mong Gyu Chung of South Korea, Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Sabah and Mariano Araneta from the Philippines, along with four female candidates including Australia's Moya Dodd.
Sheikh Ahmad is the president of the Olympic Council of Asia, but his country Kuwait is currently banned by the International Olympic Committee and Fifa for government interference in the running of sports in the country.
Zainudin, who helmed the FAS from 2009 to 2016, was originally cleared to stand by the AFC.
The 53-year-old, who was appointed vice-principal of the ITE College East earlier this month, was not contactable by press time.
The four-man AFC Electoral Committee that will oversee the organisation, running and supervision of the elective congress on May 8, includes another Singaporean - the president of FAS' provisional council - Lim Kia Tong. - SHAMIR OSMAN