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Australia not welcomed in the AFC anymore

AFC nations want Australia kicked out of the confederation, reveals president

January 30, 2015 By Ali M.
Ahead of their Asian Cup final clash with South Korea, AFC president Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa reveals that the Socceroos' membership in the continent's confederation has been brought into questioning.

Many Asian countries want Australia kicked out of the continent's confederation, not only Arab nations, though calls for an eviction are concentrated in the west. This is according to AFC president Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa, who revealed that the issue of the Socceroos' expulsion could be brought up at this year's general assembly.

Australia, who were a member of the Oceania Football Confederation for over 40 years, made the switch to the Asian Football Confederation back in 2006 and have since taken part in three Asian Cup tournaments.

This comes as Australia, the host nation for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup tournament, gear up to face South Korean in the final on Saturday in Sydney,

"Australia joined the AFC before I was elected as the president," Salman stated.

"At that time, the AFC general assembly made no resolution about re-assessing Australia's membership to determine whether it will stay or be evicted.

"There are indications that prove that such desire exists among the confederations of west Asia to evict Australia.

"But I also know that the Arabs are not the only ones who are not convinced that Australia's membership in Asia's football is feasible."

However, Football Federation Australia chief David Gallop has hit back at Salman's comments and opposition against their membership in the AFC, arguing that despite their recent inclusion, they are an integral part of the confederation.

"We were extremely surprised to hear of these press reports from west Asia," Gallop insisted.

"We are newcomers to AFC but our commitment to participate in competitions, membership of important AFC committees and general sharing of ideas and programs increases every year.

"We celebrate the diversity of the Asian region and this tournament has shown our contribution can go beyond football to create and foster social and political bridges between key trading partners in the region.

"Importantly, Australia is also in the top five markets for television rights in the entire confederation. It has been educational for Australians and Australia's multiculturalism has been on show.

"We have educated over 50,000 children about Asia through our Asian Cup primary school course."

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