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Hammam comes calling

On a whistle-stop tour, Mohamed Bin Hammam, the president of the Asian Football Federation as well as a candidate for the FIFA executive committee elections in May, visited the Capital on Wednesday, reports Abhishek Hore.

sports Updated: Mar 13, 2009 00:03 IST
Abhishek Hore

On a whistle-stop tour, Mohamed Bin Hammam, the president of the Asian Football Federation (AFC) as well as a candidate for the FIFA executive committee elections in May, visited the Capital on Wednesday.

The purpose of the visit, according to sources, was largely official, though Hammam did pay AIFF president Priya Ranjan Das Munsi a visit.

"We are on a campaign trail. Out of 46 we have the support of 31 council members. But we want to increase the number," the source quoted AFC vice-president Vernon Manilal Fernando, who was also part of the 9-member delegation, as saying.

About the ailing AIFF president Hammam said: "Dasmunsi is a friend and I felt bad when I saw him. If he was well he would have done a lot for me."

"If I am elected then I will do a lot for India," Hammam said about his candidature for the FIFA executive committee.

Giving Hammam competition for the executive committee member from West Asia slot is Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim al Khalifa of Bahrain.

Though the AFC chief didn't comment on his rival, Hammam has been trying his best to stop al Khalifa and had earlier also said he would resign as AFC president if he lost his seat on the FIFA executive committee.

Hammam and his team left for Afghanistan on Thursday.