Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa has arrived in Kigali, Rwanda ahead of forging closer relationship with the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Sheikh Salman, who is the President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), has travelled for the opening of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) where he is expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with CAF.
With Africa as the biggest bloc in world football, the five FIFA presidential aspirants have descended on the continent via Accra with the West African Football Union (WAFU) delegates’ congress being a target to canvass for votes in the February 26, elections.
HRH Prince Ali Al Hussein , Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Gianni Infantino who will contest in the elections all arrived in Accra in persons but Jérôme Champagne and Tokyo Sexwale sent their representatives.
READ ALSO: Lionel Messi Wins 5th Ballon d’Or
Sheikh Salman’s globetrotting strategy seem to be paying off as he looks to be coasting to the electoral victory to become the new President of FIFA next month with Africa set to reach a cooperation agreement with Asia.
The agreement will give Sheikh Salman a huge advantage over his four competitors who are all seeking to take over from Sepp Blatter who has been suspended for eight years following allegations of corruption.
The AFC president who is said to be an ally of Blatter who is hugely popular among Africa has vowed to replicate his policies, a decision which seem to have won him Africa's backing.
"Now, nobody can deny what Sepp Blatter did for the developing countries whether it's the financial aid programmes or Goal Projects and other programmes, without which other countries won't be playing football,” Sheikh Salman said in Accra.
The Asian football chief has said elsewhere that he wants to divide the organization into two separate entities as part of a ‘turnaround’ plan for the crisis-hit organization.
Though, a Blatter fanatic, Salman has some radical measures up his sleeves. "Of course, I share his vision as well and I totally agree with the development FIFA has brought to world football.
"But, how to do it, I have my ways and how to do it as well."
He had said in a statement that FIFA’s governance and business functions would be separated if he took over the helm following the Feb. 26 elections.
To achieve that, the Bahraini has suggested dividing the organization into a ‘Football FIFA’ that will be responsible for governance and running events and tournaments; and a ‘Business FIFA’ which would handle all commercial, financial and funding matters.
Blatter won 133 votes, defeating main challenger Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, who picked up 73 votes, and most of those who voted in that election will have a ballot in February.
This means with the agreement in Kigali, the African countries will simply transfer their votes to Sheikh Salman who has vowed to continue with the laudable football development programmes of Blatter during his tenure.
CAF President, Issa Hayatou, and AFC President, Shaikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, will sign the MoU of mutual co-operation on development of football between the two confederations which will be valid for four years.
The two Presidents will be assisted by Hicham El Amrani, General Secretary of CAF and Dato' Windsor John, General Secretary of the AFC.
The framework will be structured around, the sharing of information, experience, initiating high level competitions, conducting joint technical development programs in various fields such as: Coaching, Refereeing, Youth football, Women's football, Integrity, Administration, Marketing, Media and Innovative technologies.
There will be a press conference to be addressed by the Presidents of CAF and AFC after signing the MoU.