Asian soccer leader Salman challenged by Abu Dhabi candidate

(AP Photo/Michael Probst, file)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman of Bahrain will face at least one challenger for re-election, though not an expected opponent from Saudi Arabia.

The United Arab Emirates soccer federation says Mohamed Khalfan Al Romaithi announced his presidential run for the April 6 vote by Thursday's deadline.

Al Romaithi is a member of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council board, and the AFC executive committee headed by Sheikh Salman since 2013.

No candidate was announced by the Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF), which had previously seemed to target the AFC presidency that comes with FIFA vice-president status.

In September, SAFF president Adel Ezzat resigned to prepare his AFC candidacy.

However, Sheikh Salman's position was strengthened in October when he won a key election nomination rules vote and rebuffed a Saudi-created regional group of federations.

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Updated December 6, 2018

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