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AFC President Sheikh Salman faces challenge for presidency in April election

Sheikh Salman, left, tried to win the FIFA presidency but has since refocused on accumulating soft power in the Asian Football Confederation.
Sheikh Salman was first elected AFC president in 2013.

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa faces a challenge as the head of the continent's ruling soccer body with two candidates putting themselves forward for next April's election.

AFC Vice President Saoud A Aziz M A Al-Mohannadi of Qatar and Executive Committee member Mohamed Khalfan Matar Saeed Alromaithi from the United Arab Emirates had lodged their candidacies to challenge Sheikh Salman, the AFC said on Saturday.

An expected challenge from Saudi Arabia Football...

Zaquan Adha double powers Malaysia to Suzuki Cup semifinals alongside favourites Vietnam

Malaysia booked their place in the semifinals of the Suzuki Cup on Saturday with a 3-0 win over Myanmar that ensured they advance to the tournament's last four alongside favourites Vietnam.

Vietnam finished top of group A thanks to a comfortable 3-0 win over already-eliminated Cambodia while a brace from Zaquan Adha following Nohshahrul Idlan Talaha's opener earned the Malaysians second place as a result of an impressive performance against Myanmar.

Myanmar needed only a draw to progress but,...

Fandi Ahmad has Singapore dreaming again as Lions see off Indonesia in Suzuki Cup

Singapore started their Suzuki Cup campaign with a win over Indonesia, courtesy of Hariss Harun's strike just before the break.

It was a Friday night in Manila when Indonesia dumped a dismal Singapore out of the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup. Two years later, Singapore looked a very different proposition and deservedly defeated Indonesia 1-0 to open the 2018 edition of Southeast Asia's biennial tournament on a high.

A well-taken goal from captain Hariss Harun eight minutes before the break gave most of the 30,000 plus fans a reward for their support. Nobody is getting carried away after just one game of Group B just yet, but Singapore...

AFF Cup's importance to world football is growing with each edition

It is entirely possible that both legs of the final of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup in December will be the biggest game in the world that week in terms of attendance.

There's likely to be 90,000 fans packed into the stadium in Jakarta, and something similar in Kuala Lumpur. When Vietnam won it in 2008, the entire country partied into the night and beyond.

Make no mistake about it -- Southeast Asia's biennial tournament means a great deal.

South, West and East Asia all have their own regional competitions...

Peter Velappan, 'architect' of Asian football, dies at age of 83

Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa hailed former general secretary Peter Velappan as "one of the most important architects" of the game in the region after the Malaysian passed away on Saturday.

Velappan was the longest-serving general secretary in the confederation's 64-year history, heading up the administrative arm from 1978 until his retirement in 2007. He was 83.

"On behalf of the entire Asian football family, I send my condolences and heartfelt sympathy...

Expectations low for Fandi Ahmad's Singapore ahead of AFF Suzuki Cup

Singapore's record at the AFF Suzuki Cup is black and white. In 10 out of the 11 editions of Southeast Asia's biennial tournament, the Lions have either won (four times) or fallen at the first hurdle (six).

As we head into the 2018 edition, it is safe to say that six becoming seven is much likelier than four becoming five, but that does not mean progress can't be made.

Just ensuring that the tournament extends past November into December would be a positive for Singapore. At the moment, a team...