Zhang takes reins in Bin Hammam absence

SINGAPORE - China's Zhang Jilong will take the reins of the Asian Football Confederation in the absence of Mohamed Bin Hammam, who was suspended from all football activity by FIFA on Sunday, a source at the AFC told Reuters on Monday.

Asian football head Bin Hammam was on Sunday suspended over bribery allegations in the worst corruption scandal to blight the sport's governing body, hours after ending his campaign to unseat FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

AFC Vice President Zhang ran for a seat on FIFA's Executive Committee earlier this year but was beaten in a vote at the AFC's congress in Doha.

Bin Hammam's suspension from FIFA was greeted with a wall of silence in Asia as football figures in the region took stock in the aftermath of Sunday's stunning turn of events.

Qatari Bin Hammam, 62, had been due to stand against Blatter at the FIFA Congress in Zurich on Wednesday but withdrew his candidacy a day before facing an ethics committee hearing into bribery allegations.

Bin Hammam and Jack Warner, president of CONCACAF, were suspended over bribery allegations while FIFA's ethics committee cleared President Sepp Blatter of any wrongdoing.

CONCACAF is the confederation representing North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football.

Bin Hammam and Warner were accused of arranging to pay delegates of the Caribbean Football Union $40,000 in cash to vote for Blatter's only rival. The case against Warner and Bin Hammam, who have denied any wrong-doing, will be heard in July.


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