The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Associations Committee today reiterated the opposition to third-party interference in Asian football and approved the publication of an ‘Informative Note on Third-Party Interference in Football Organisations’.

In an online meeting chaired by Hachem Haider, the Associations Committee unanimously supported the AFC stance and warned of the dangers for Member Associations (MAs) and Regional Associations (RAs), who face third-party interference – whether it is the MAs or RAs fault or not.

In a foreword to the Informative Note, the AFC President, Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, said: “We have a collective responsibility to guarantee that all Member Associations and Regional Associations are free to exercise their rights for the good of the game.

“In football, the rules and regulations must be respected and the decisions we take must always be in the best interests of our players, our passionate fans, and our standing in the game.

“The AFC’s investment in football and its Member Associations and Regional Associations has allowed the Asian football family to make a positive impact and built an admired portrait and reputation over the last six years.

“Underpinned by the values of transparency, professionalism and integrity, the AFC’s governance has been overhauled and today, we are proud to be a leader among Confederations. We must continue to stand together against third-party interference and to defend the principles of autonomy.

“This Informative Note on Third-Party Interference reinforces our position that we cannot allow anyone to destroy what we have worked so hard to build together.”

Chairperson Hachem Haider added: “Since the very beginning, the Associations Committee has addressed several cases involving third-party interference as well as suspensions and induction of the Normalisation Committee in our Member Associations.

“One of the key findings from the process was that the entities responsible for most of the interference were not part of the football pyramid but from a third-party.

“We acknowledge the importance and value of third-party entities to certain extent, particularly the role of Governments in the development of the game, but they should be discouraged from interfering in the internal affairs of the Member Associations and Regional Associations.”

The Committee also discussed further aid for the AFC’s five Regional Associations and approved the new criteria for the MA awards and the introduction of a new award category to recognise the contribution of RAs to be presented at the AFC Annual Awards from 2021 onwards.

In addition, the Committee approved the publication of the Member Associations’ and Regional Associations’ Statutes and Electoral Codes on the AFC official website at

The Committee also required the MAs and RAs to submit any amendments to their statutes immediately to the AFC so the relevant document can be updated.

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