ABU DHABI, -- The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Executive Committee (ExCo) on Thursday introduced a ground-breaking 'Do the right thing' policy to further strengthen the Confederation's regulations to protect integrity and transparency at its meeting in Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the AFC President, began the meeting by offering the AFC's condolences to COMNEBOL and Brazilian Football Association and also led the ExCo in a minute's silence of respect for those who died in the Colombian air crash, according to a press release posted on the AFC's website.

The AFC Vision and Mission sets out a mission objective of improving both the governance and integrity of the Confederation and the new 'Do the right thing' whistle-blower policy is another positive step to achieve that goal.

"This is an important proposal from the AFC Governance Reform Task Force and now we need to appoint an Independent Head of Integrity", Sheikh Salman said.

"The Administration will write to all Member Associations and also undertake a headhunting process to recommend to the ExCo the most suitable candidate, who will then be approved at the next Congress."

The ExCo confirmed the next Congress will be held in Bahrain in May 2017, where the elections will take place for the FIFA Council. It was also established by the Executive Committee that the elections for the AFC's seats on the FIFA Council are conducted under the terms of the FIFA regulations which allows any Member Association to nominate a candidate.

Referring to the cancellation of the AFC Extraordinary Congress in Goa in September, Shaikh Salman said: "The AFC will not compromise its principles.

"The AFC believes in fair play and reform and, most of all, the AFC stands united. It is that unity, under our banner One Asia, One Goal, which will provide the foundation for us as we continue to build a better future for this great game in Asia."

The AFC Governance Reform Task Force report from HRH Prince Abdullah ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah, the Chairman, also made recommendations that provided a strategy paper setting out a framework for the sale of the AFC Commercial Rights for the cycle beyond 2021.

This was approved by the ExCo and Sheikh Salman said: "It is very important that we have a transparent process to choose the right model and partner for our next cycle. The administration will come back with their options for our decision in the middle of next year before we issue the tender for our rights."

'There is still much more work to be done and as recommended by the Task Force, and as proposed we will agree to change the Task Force's name to AFC Governance Task Force and we will make the necessary appointment of members to this newly named Task Force as soon as possible,' he added.

The ExCo also confirmed the decision made to establish an independent AFC Entry Control Body for the AFC club competitions which will make recommendations on areas such as eligibility of clubs for competitions.

The Executive Committee also approved decisions made by the AFC Competitions Committee, Finance Committee and Development Committee which all met in the UAE last week as well as the Marketing, Legal and Social Responsibility Committees which met in October and early November.

The AFC President also thanked the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the United Arab Emirates Football Association for their support during the AFC Annual Awards week and congratulated the UAE on its 45th National Day.

Source: Emirates News Agency