UAE sports leader, Mohammed Khalfan Al Romaithi, promised to clean up and unlock the potential of the world’s biggest football continent as he launched his campaign bid to become President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
In a powerful ceremony at the Louvre Abu Dhabi on 7th March, the candidate pledged to “make significant levels of new investment for every Member Association, increase participation at all levels of the game” and introduce genuine “transparency and independence”.
Mohammed Khalfan Al Romaithi has a lifelong passion for football. As a youngster he represented Al Ain FC, the UAE’s most successful club side before returning in 2000 to become the club’s general secretary.
Under his stewardship – Al Romaithi took up the post of chairman of the board in 2001 – Al Ain won the National League Championship three times, a President’s Cup and an AFC Champions League title.
Following a stint at the UAE National Olympic Committee, Al Romaithi returned to football and, as president of the FA, oversaw a golden period for the UAE. As well as going on to chair the local organising committees for the both the 2009 and 2010 FIFA Club World Cups, Al Romaithi was appointed president of the AFC Ad-hoc Committee for Member Associations.
In 2015 he was elected a member of the AFC Executive Committee, a role he still carries out today alongside his duties as chairman of the General Authority for Sports in the UAE. Earlier this year, as vice president of the local organising committee, Al Romaithi helped oversee the highly successful 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
Al Romaithi’s bold election campaign manifesto for change, ‘Making Football Fair,’ was unveiled at the Louvre launch, heralding Asia’s first contemporary continental blueprint for football development.
Al Romaithi is adamant that now is the time to throw off years of inadequate investment and poor governance, which has stalled the development of the world’s most popular game in the world’s biggest football continent.
In a move not seen before, Al Romaithi, who is the chairman of the General Authority for Sports in the UAE, unveiled a comprehensive, fully-funded manifesto designed to make football fair for all in Asia, and more competitive internationally.
Under Al Romaithi’s leadership the AFC would become the most “inclusive and independent” football confederation in the world.
“I have seen first-hand how the power of football can change the lives of everyone for the better, but in Asia this power has been abused to the detriment of our people,” Al-Romaithi said.
“Now is the time for change, now is the time for a new era, now is the time to make football fair for all,” he said.