The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has a released statement defending its decision to instruct all but two of its 46 member nations to vote for Michel Platini in the upcoming FIFA presidential elections.
This after South Korean candidate Chung Mong-joon released a statement on Thursday accusing the AFC of drumming up support for Platini’s campaign.
Chung said all of the associations had been sent a document urging them to sign a form pledging support for UEFA president Platini, and stated that the act breached FIFA’s election guidelines.
However, in a statement released on its website, the AFC states that no protocols were breached.
“Any association who wishes to support a specific candidacy – or to announce their own candidate – is free to do so, whether by letter, via media conferences and statements, or through any other way that they so choose,” the statement read.
“It is of particular note that FIFA has in recent years introduced a requirement that obliges any Presidential candidate hoping to stand to obtain declarations of support from FIFA member associations before they can even be formally accepted as an eligible candidate.
“Therefore it is to be expected that, as required by FIFA, all candidates are currently seeking declarations of support in order to comply with the eligibility requirements before next month’s deadline for submission of candidatures.
“Furthermore, because one of AFC’s roles, like any Confederation, is to act as a collective voice for its associations within FIFA, many AFC Member Associations have, unsurprisingly, contacted the AFC to ask how they can express their support for a specific candidate.
“The AFC President is, according to the AFC Statutes, responsible for relations with FIFA and other Confederations, and has already expressed his personal preference for the candidacy of Michel Platini, as quoted in the statement of 30 July.
“The AFC also communicated then that it was in contact with FIFA and its sister Confederations to discuss the future of FIFA and the best way forward.
“A growing majority of AFC Member Associations have also expressed their support for Mr Platini's candidacy, based on his credentials to lead world football, whilst others have expressed an interest for other candidates, have expressed no interest at all, or are waiting before making up their minds.”
Chung stated that the only AFC member associations to not receive the document were South Korea and Jordan.
Prince Ali bin Hussein, President of the Jordan Football Association, is also running for presidency of FIFA. Sheikh Salman, president of the AFC, has also announced his support for Platini in public.