Praful Patel elected FIFA Council member, first from India
All India Football Federation president Praful Patel was elected as a FIFA Council member on April 6, becoming the first Indian to enter the prestigious council in a landmark development. Patel got 38 out of 46 votes. The AIFF chief was one of the eight candidates vying for the spot in the election which was held during the 29th AFC (Asian Football Confederations) Congress in the Malaysian capital.
Patel was accompanied by AIFF general secretary Kushal Das and senior vice-president Subrata Datta. “Patel’s victory is a “landmark for Indian football”. His leadership has taken Indian football to greater heights. Asian football will immensely benefit from his presence as a FIFA Council member,” Datta told PTI.
Earlier in the day, the congress re-elected Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa by acclamation as AFC president for a second four-year term until 2023. Shaikh Salman, whose presidency began in May 2013, was the only candidate for the position.
There were initially three candidates confirmed by the AFC Electoral Committee following the completion of the eligibility checks on March 1. The number was reduced following the withdrawals of Mohamed Khalfan Matar Saeed Al-Romaithi (UAE) and Saoud A. Aziz M A Al-Mohannadi (Qatar) both of whom threw their full support behind Shaikh Salman.