Iran media complains of AFC pro-Arab 'favouritism'

According to Iran Football Online, accusations of prejudice in favor of Arab teams and club sides have been made on many occasions against the Asian Football Confederation. "Nowhere was this favouritism more evident than the Asian Cup 2004 tournament where cries of foul was aired on several occasions by many teams. Then followed a very odd selection of Asian Player of the Year 2005 which was won by an unknown Saudi player, who is hardly a household name in his own country let alone being a player of fame or distinction at Asian level," Majeed Panahi of commented. "However, the climax of flagrant favouritism and bias must be this year's Short List of Asian Player of the Year. Eight out of 10 candidates are Arabs, while the two exceptions are players from Singapore and Tajikistan!"

Panahi also expressed concern that Al Serkal from UAE "has already claimed that he has majority of the votes" for the post of deputy president of the AFC, claiming that "allowing AFC to drift under the influence of the Arabs is highly indicative of the incompetence of the power houses of football in Asia specifically Japan, Iran, Korea and China."