By Duncan Mackay

Worawi Makudi head and shouldersFebruary 26 - Worawi Makudi, at the centre of bribery allegations during England's unsuccesful bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, is a candidate to replace Mohamed Bin Hammam as the President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

The 61-year-old Thailand Football Association chairman has been nominated by the 11-nation regional body representing South East Asian football following a meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

The AFC is currently headed by Zhang Jilong of China, who replaced Bin Hamman after he was forced to resign in December following a FIFA investigation into his management of AFC finances.

The 46-member Asian confederation is due to elect a new President on May 2 in Kuala Lumpur to complete Bin Hammam's mandate through to 2015.

The Qatari's reputation had already been badly damaged after he was embroiled in allegations that he had tried to bribe Caribbean voters in 2011 during the campaign to become the President of FIFA, where he was opposing Sepp Blatter. 

The scandal forced him to withdraw from the race and he was given a life ban by FIFA, which he successfully overturned at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. 

Mohammed Bin HammamScandal-tainted Mohammed Bin Hammam was forced to resign as President of the AFC in December

"My main target as the AFC President would be to bring everybody together and to unite the Asian Football Confederation," said Makudi.

But if Bin Hammam is replaced by Makudi it will cause massive controversy and do little to help Blatter's claims that he is cleaning up FIFA.

Makudi was accused by Lord Triesman, the former chairman of the Football Association who initially led England's World Cup bid, of demanding the television rights for a proposed friendly between England and Thailand in return for his vote.

The FIFA Executive Committee member launched legal action but his claim for libel and slander was struck out by a court in London earlier this month. 

Zhang is considered the frontrunner in the campaign to suceed Bin Hammam but, beside Makudi, will also face opposition from Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, President of the Bahrain Football Association, Saudi Arabia's Hafez El Medle and Yousuf Al Serkal, President of the United Arab Emirates Football Association. 

The deadline for nominations is next Sunday (March 3).

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