• Araneta optimistic of chances in FIFA election

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    Philippine Football Federation (PFF) President Mariano Araneta is confident about his chances in the coming election of the International Football Federation (FIFA) council on May 11 in Bahrain.

    Araneta, who is currently on his second term as the head of the country’s football governing body, is one of the four candidates gunning for a seat in the powerful FIFA council.

    “As of the moment, probably we have a good chance of getting that position,” said the 63-year-old veteran Filipino football leader, who is also a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Executive Committee.

    Besides Araneta, a native of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, the other candidates are Chinese Football Association General Secretary Zhang Jian, Mong Gyu Chung of South Korea and incumbent FIFA council member Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah of Kuwait.

    Candidates from the Asian region will dispute the three seats while the other post available is open to female football leaders.

    The candidacies were cleared by FIFA last month.

    “It’s a good opportunity to be given a chance to run. Running itself is already a privilege. Whatever comes out of the election, we’ll accept it,” said Araneta.

    The election, which will be part of the AFC Congress this year, will coincide with the launch of the Philippines Football League (PFL), which is the country’s first ever professional league.

    “Unfortunately, I won’t be here for the first match of the PFL because I will be in Bahrain for the AFC Congress and the election for the FIFA Congress,” Araneta said.

    JAELLE NEVIN REYES

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