AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has called for an end to the attacks on sports events, especially football, in the continent.
Expressing deep anguish at the death of eight football fans in Pakistan’s Karachi city in a bomb blast after a four-a-side Ramadan tournament final, Shaikh Salman said that sport should be used as a tool to promote peace.
“Football is popular around the world and it brings people together. It’s shameful to attack those who are enjoying a football game,” he said.
“Some of the innocent fans who lost their lives would have been budding footballers. Football has long given solace to people around the globe.”
He also said that AFC had decided to allot the 2014 AFC U-16 Championship qualifiers to Pakistan due to the rising popularity of the sport in the South Asian country.
“We are following the rise in popularity of football in Pakistan and we are confident that the AFC U-16 Championship qualifiers will give a further boost to the efforts carried out by the Pakistan Football Federation,” he said.
“On behalf of the Asian football family, I would like to convey my deepest sympathy and condolences to the friends and families of those who lost their lives in Karachi.”
(AFC Press Release)