FFA Chairman Chris Nikou was elected to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Executive Committee, for a four year term on Saturday, becoming just the second ever Australian to serve on the executive committee.

Nikou’s election took place at the 29th AFC Congress in Malaysia, attended by representatives of the 47 member associations of the AFC, who voted to elect a new AFC President (Sheikh Salman, unopposed) as well as the new executive committee.

In being elected, Nikou succeeded the first ever Australian to serve on the executive committee, Moya Dodd, who served for 12 years, including a period as the first ever female vice president of the AFC.

Speaking on FFA.com, Nikou said upon being appointed to the AFC Executive Committee,”I would first like to thank my colleagues across Asia for entrusting me with the responsibility that a position on the AFC Executive Committee entails,” Nikou said. “Recognising that responsibility, I am committed to working hard to support the development of the world game across the entire Asian football community.”

“Since joining the AFC in 2006, Australia has sought to learn from as well as support our fellow Member Associations in Asia. We have shared knowledge and expertise through serving on various AFC committees, added to the commercial growth of Asian football and delivered a range of development programs across the Confederation. Australia’s hosting of the AFC Asian Cup in 2015 also set a new benchmark for Asia’s flagship event.

“I am committed to raising even further Australia’s engagement with Asia, and my new position on the AFC Executive Committee provides an opportunity to continue driving the relationship. Through the Executive Committee, we have an avenue to express Australia’s position on different matters, hear matters of priority from other members and work collaboratively with the Asian football community to ensure the vision of the AFC is achieved – that Asia be the world’s leading football confederation.”Nikou praised the contribution of retiring AFC Executive Committee member Moya Dodd. “Across a twelve-year period, Moya has represented Australia with distinction in Asia, especially with regard to making the game more inclusive for women and girls at all levels – from the boardroom to the grassroots. I would like to thank her for her contribution.”