Shaikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, President of the Asian Football Confederation, today expressed his belief that the record five Asian teams competing in the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia will demonstrate the growing quality of the game in Asia.
After arriving in the Russian capital Moscow, Shaikh Salman sent good luck messages to the five competing nations from Asia – Australia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Korea Republic and Saudi Arabia.
The AFC President will be at the opening match on June 14 when Saudi Arabia become the first Asian team ever to play in the opening game of the FIFA World Cup – taking on hosts Russia in Moscow.
Shaikh Salman also praised the record number of Asian officials who will officiate in this FIFA World Cup and believed that the competition will enhance the reputation and status of football in Asia.
The AFC President immediately joined the meeting of the Bureau to the FIFA Council, chaired by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, in Moscow and in the coming week will attend the FIFA Council meeting and, on Wednesday, the FIFA Congress, which will decide the hosts for the FIFA World Cup 2026.
He will also chair the AFC Executive Committee meeting and, with Mr Infantino present along with representatives of the other Confederations, Shaikh Salman will host an AFC Confederation gathering for all the AFC Member Associations.
Before beginning his round of meetings, Shaikh Salman also expressed his confidence in the ability of the Russian Federation to organise an outstanding FIFA World Cup which will project the world game in the best possible light.
He also expressed his appreciation for the great efforts made by the authorities in preparing and staging the event.