KUALA LUMPUR, May 1 (Xinhua) -- Saudi Arabian candidate Hafez Ibrahim Al Medlej has announced a last-minute withdraw from the presidential race of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the Asian football governing body said Wednesday.
Hafez has long been seen as the underdog of the race, with previous reports saying that he would withdraw before the election.
The remaining three candidates, Bahrain Football Association chief Shaikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, United Arab Emirate Football chief Yousuf Al Serkal and Thai FIFA Executive Committee member Worawi Makudi will compete for the new AFC chief in the first presidential election since AFC's disgraced former boss Mohamed Bin Hammam was banned for electoral fraud.
Backed by Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad AL-Sabah, Shaikh Salman is considered as a frontrunner of the race. He is eyeing a two-third majority in the first round of voting to win the election outright.
Sources said Al Serkal and Makudi have jointed hand to deny a victory of Shaikh Salman.
AFC will also elect a FIFA executive committee member, among other positions, in the Extraordinary Congress to be held in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.