KARACHI: Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa met Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) president Adel Ezzat on Friday and discussed a range of issues.
Among the things discussed were the formation of the South West Asia Football Federation (SWAFF), comprising AFC’s Member Associations from the South and West Asian zones, and the expanded format of the FIFA Club World Cup proposed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
Shaikh Salman said: “I had a fruitful meeting with the SAFF President Adel Ezzat and we exchanged our views on some of the recent developments in Asian and world football.
“We had an open and honest discussion on the formation of SWAFF and I made it clear to Mr Ezzat that the AFC had no objection to the creation of SWAFF as long as it remains as a football body outside of the AFC’s zonal structure.
“SWAFF can come into existence on the lines of the Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation or the Union of Arab Football Associations, which are not part of the AFC but serve the greater purpose of bringing together many Gulf and Arab countries for the sole purpose of football development.
“Mr Ezzat agreed and confirmed that the establishment of SWAFF will not have any impact on the AFC’s five existing zones — East, West, South, Central and ASEAN — and their current composition,” he said.
On the expanded format of the FIFA Club World Cup, Shaikh Salman said: “The AFC will support any initiative as long as due process is followed.
“There is no reason not to support any idea that will improve the level of Asian club football when the correct process has been followed with full transparency and wide-ranging dialogue with all the stakeholders,” he added.