London: Qatar has secured a place back at the top table of world football for the first time since the scandal-scarred exit of Mohamed bin Hammam eight years ago.
Saoud Al-Mohannadi, having taken a diplomatic step back from challenging for the presidency of the Asian Football Confederation, was elected as one of its seven members of the governing council of world federation Fifa.
Victory at last Election represented a victory in a lengthy fight for the Qatari whose first attempt to stand for Fifa Council had been blocked by an ethics commission suspension in 2016. This was later quashed by the Fifa appeal committee.
His eventual success now at AFC Congress in its headquarters city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, also represented another major sports success for.
Qatar’s success off the pitch followed the national team’s notable victories on it in defeating Saudi Arabia and hosts UAE in February on the way to winning the Asian Cup.
Absence from Fifa Council the Gulf state lost its place on the governing body of v in 2011 when Qatar’s Bin Hammam, then the Asian president, was suspended over bribery allegations and subsequently banned from the game for muddling up his own bank account with that of the AFC – ethics breaches he has always denied.
The absence of Qatar from Fifa Council has always appeared an odd anomaly because of the country’s status as host of the 2022 World Cup.