The prompt action of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) in reporting an alleged illegal approach and attempt to bribe two Victory SC players before the Maldivian club’s AFC Cup 2008 match against Home United of Singapore has come in for praise from AFC President Mohamed bin Hammam. The FAS alerted the AFC and Singapore’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CIPB) after an unidentified man approached two foreign players of Victory SC and offered them bribes to manipulate their match against Home United, which the Singaporean club eventually won 2-1 on 2 April 2008. An investigation has already been launched into the incident by the AFC. “The AFC welcomes the initiative and urgency shown by the FAS in this matter,” said Bin Hammam. “The FAS and the AFC share the same view that match-fixing is a cancer which damages the integrity of football, the teams and ultimately the players.”
Former footballer Kazi Salahuddin was elected as the President of the Bangladesh Football Federation. The 54-year-old polled 62 votes to Amin Ahmed Chowdhury’s 49 to gain a four-year term.
The AFC recently launched another platform for the development of women’s football, this time in the form of the first AFC U-13 Girls’ Festival of Football between 16 and 28 June in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The festival mirrors the goals and ambitions of the boys’ festival that is currently played in the four zones of the AFC every year and provides teenage players with an opportunity to play, enjoy and gain experience at international level, besides creating opportunities for grassroots coach and referee education. “The women’s game is thriving in Asia and the AFC U-13 Girls’ Festival of Football is a natural platform for talent-spotting and grooming,” said AFC Acting Director of Women’s Football Belinda Wilson. “Women’s football is also one of the fastest growing sports in the continent,” added Wilson. And, underlining the tremendous interest in the women’s game, seven countries -hosts Vietnam as well as India, Korea Republic, Japan, China, Myanmar and Singapore-participated in the first girls’ festival.