Buriram calm despite the fixing claims

President of Bahrain Football Association enters race for AFC boss as Buriram record draw in Champions League opener.

    Buriram calm despite the fixing claims
    Buriram supporters cheer on team against Vegalta Senda in Group E group match [GALLO/GETTY]

    Thai FA Cup winners Buriram United salvaged a 1-1 away draw against J League runners-up Vegalta Sendai in the Asian Champions League on Tuesday, betraying little signs of being a team under a match-fixing cloud.

    Buriram are awaiting the outcome of an investigation into allegations that match-fixers tried to rig the result of their FA Cup final victory against Army United in November.

    Thai Football Association head and FIFA executive committee member Worawi Makudi said last week that the Japanese official in charge of the final, which Buriram won 2-1, had reported to the Asian Football Confederation that he had been offered money to help rig the result.

    The Thai team, however, put the controversy behind them in the Group E opener at a snowy Sendai Stadium and equalised through captain Osmar Barba Ibanez in the 76th minute to take home a point. Ryang Yong-Gi had converted a penalty to put the hosts ahead in the 53rd minute.

    Buriram beat J League team Kashiwa Reysol 3-2 in a memorable AFC Champions League debut last year but lost the return game in Japan by a solitary goal.

    The Thai club, who edged out Australia's Brisbane Roar on penalties in the play-offs to make their second successive group stage, next host FC Seoul - who thrashed Jiangsu Sainty 5-1 in their Group E fixture - on March 12.

    AFC presidential race

    From one Asian battle on the pitch, to an equally fierce Asian battle off it.

    On Tuesday, Bahrain Football Association President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa joined the race for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) presidency. However, Thailand's Worawi Makudi still seems to have a headstart on his rivals.

    The Bahraini's office said that he would be one of the candidates vying for 46 votes to succeed Mohamed bin Hammam.

    Qatari bin Hammam was banned for life by FIFA for corruption and bribery and China's Zhang Jilong has held the role of AFC acting president since May 2011.

    "My main target as the AFC president would be to bring everybody together and to unite the Asian Football Confederation"

    Worawi Makudi

    FIFA Executive Committee member Makudi looks to have stolen a march on his rivals for the May 2 election after securing the support of 11 South-East Asian countries on Monday.

    Considered a bin Hammam ally, the Thai would be backed by the Football Federation of Australia as well, the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) said in a statement.

    AFF President Sultan Ahmad said: "...we examined our unity and solidarity and have decided to be united in choosing a leader for Asia.

    "I am sure Dato' Worawi Makudi will do everything he can to further the needs of the AFC and their member associations." Worawi said he was 'extremely honoured' with the nomination.

    "I will do my utmost to serve the ASEAN family Members," he said.

    "My main target as the AFC president would be to bring everybody together and to unite the Asian Football Confederation."

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.