The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will formally decide who takes over from Mohamed Bin Hammam as its president next year, the Asian football governing body said Thursday.
The AFC executive committee, at its last meeting this year, decided to hold an election for the position of the AFC President during the AFC Congress at the end of April, subject to the recommendations and advice of the AFC Legal Committee by mid-January, reports Xinhua.
AFC's acting president Zhang Jilong will be the leading contender for the post. He took over as the caretaker after the former boss Bin Hammam was banned by FIFA for trying to buy votes during the FIFA presidential race last year.
Although the Qatari won an appeal against FIFA's lifetime ban in Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Switzerland, the Qatari is still under provisional ban from taking part in any kind of football activities by FIFA.
He is also under investigation for alleged corruption during the tenure as AFC president.
During the meeting Thursday, Zhang said he had been firmly committed to a new era of transparency for the confederation.
"Under my caretaker leadership, I promised a new vision for AFC. I committed myself to a new era of transparency and I am confident that with your support I will be able to deliver this objective," he said.
Meanwhile, the AFC Executive Committee has decided on a range of matters, including the introduction of a home-and-away round of 16 stage for the AFC Champions League next year.