Presidents of football federations and associations from across South and West Asia met in Jeddah today to formally constitute the new South West Asian Football Federation (SWAFF).
The first SWAFF General Assembly saw the election of officials to the Executive Board as well as the confirmation and approval of the organisation’s statutes and regulations.
Dr. Adel Ezzat, President of the Saudi Arabia Football Federation, was elected as the first President of SWAFF. Dr. Ezzat will lead the federation as it begins delivering its vision for the growth of football in what is a new era for football in the region.
Commenting after the day’s proceedings, the newly appointed President of SWAFF, Dr Adel Ezzat said, “Today is a landmark for football in the region as nations come together with a unified purpose to grow this great game from the grass roots up. It’s well documented that Football is poised for significant growth across South and West Asia so we must harness the collective expertise and strengths of the member nations into a united force to seize this opportunity. SWAFF will help provide that focus, complementing the existing support provided by FIFA and the AFC.
Commenting on his election as Senior Vice President, Mr. Mohamed Shaweed, of the Football Association of the Maldives said: “I look forward to working with Dr. Adel Ezzat and the newly elected officials at SWAFF. Our region often lacks the facilities, coaching knowledge and competition structures that help the sport to thrive in more developed football nations. At SWAFF we will be working to change this pattern to support players of all ages, genders and levels of ability.”
Elected as Vice President (South) was Mr. Subrata Dutta of the All India Football Federation and Vice President (West) was Mr. Abdullah Al Juneibi (United Arab Emirates Football Association).
The following candidates were also elected to positions on the Executive Board with one remaining position vacant to be decided at the next General Assembly:
• Ms. Mahfuza Akhter (Bangladesh Football Federation)
• Mr. Karma Tsering Sherpa (All Nepal Football Association)
• Mr. Anura de Silva (Football Federation of Sri Lanka)
• H.E. Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifah (Bahrain Football Association)
• Mr. Fahad Al Hamlan (Kuwait Football Association)
Explaining the rationale for SWAFF, Dr. Adel Ezzat said, “In Saudi Arabia we are very passionate about our football. The sport unites us as a nation and it can connect us to our region and the world. If sport is a universal language then none is spoken more fluently than football. We want to work with our colleagues from across our region – from both South and West Asia – to grow the game we love. Football stands poised on the threshold of growth, SWAFF has been established as supporting infrastructure for this growth and Saudi Arabia will grow along with it. We are delighted to play our part”.