AFC: Vellapan's ASEAN comments "not official"

Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed bin Hammam has clarified that the wake-up call to the ASEAN Football Federation made by AFC secretary general Datuk Peter Vellapan, was in his personal capacity and did not reflect AFC's official stand. "Under AFC regulations, only the president has the right to speak. Vellapan's remarks did not reflect his capacity as the AFC secretary-general," he told reporters after closing the Futuro 111 Administration and Management course.

The week-long course, attended by 23 ASEAN football administrators, was organised by FIFA and the Football Association of Malaysia aimed at improving the administration of the football houses in the region.

In his speech last Monday, Vellapan sparked a controversy by accusing the ASEAN football administrations of "building their football houses from the roof", thus leaving them, the AFF, to fill the last group in the Asian continent in the world ranking. He also said football administrations in the region were lacking in professional administration and development programs.

According to Bernama newsagency, Hammam was asked if the AFC was immune from criticism. "Criticising for not doing the job was different from criticising that will benefit the progress of football. We did not criticise each other in public. In fact, we should trust each other for the sake of this region's football development, especially when the region is now shifting from amateurs to professional football, not only on the field but also their administration," he replied.

Meanwhile, FAM secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad admitted that as administrators, there was a body of knowledge that they should master. "Football administration remained the same since 10 years ago but the game has developed tremendously. That's why the Futuro 111 course is so important for the administrators to cope with the fast-developing football scenario," he added.

See also: ASEAN football officials reject Velappan's criticism (18 Feb) and Program promotes 'business of football' in ASEAN (14 Feb)