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Kuala Lumpur: FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter has called for unity and solidarity during the AFC Extraordinary Congress held in the Malaysia capital on Thursday.

The Extraordinary Congress was held to elect the new AFC President, Female Vice President, Female AFC Executive Members for the West and East zones, as well as FIFA Executive Committee Member.

Addressing the conference which was attended by delegates from FIFA, AFC member associations and its sister confederations, Blatter said:

“It is Election Day and it has to be linked to a vision of the future, a vision of where we want to go in the future. So I’d like to recall certain principles which are valid everywhere, especially today.

“United we stand, divided we fail. My appeal to you today is that only together we can achieve the mission of Asian football and only together we can face the challenges.

“As I have always said, Asian football has excellent charisma to bring people together, to bring hope. I am happy to see this repeated in Asian football. For example, football is being played in Syria and Afghanistan. All of us should be proud of this and what we can achieve.

“I can only ask for unity and solidarity. These are the principles and core values of our game and its development. Discipline, respect and fair play on the field of play are also our core principles. So I'd like to call on everyone to just translate the essence of our game to this congress.

“And these principles should be safeguarded and only through them we will have a wonderful and profitable congress.”

Blatter also gave special thanks to outgoing AFC Acting President Zhang Jilong for his contribution to Asian football.

“I'd like to thank the man who was upholding his duty and responsibility as Acting AFC President for the past two years and during the Congress until the election for the new President,” said Blatter.

“He did a very good job and showed his commitment. He deserves a special reward from us.”