Husain Al-Musallam is the first individual nominated for the FINA Presidency by the Asia Swimming Federation ©Husain Al-Musallam

Husain Al-Musallam has been nominated as Asia's candidate for the International Swimming Federation (FINA) Presidency by the Asia Swimming Federation (AASF) General Congress.

With the General Congress held in Muscat in Oman today, the AASF has for the first time nominated a candidate for FINA President.

Al-Musallam is already first vice-president of FINA and the Kuwaiti also serves as director general of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).

Uruguayan Julio Maglione, who turns 85 in a week, is due to end a 12-year reign as FINA President next June.

After receiving unanimous backing for his candidacy from the Congress, Al-Musallam stressed that "unity has never been more important than it is today" and thanked those in attendance for making history, as Asia has never had a FINA Presidential candidate before, never mind a President.

"I must be honest with you," the FINA first vice-president then warned.

"We all know there are tough times ahead. 

"The global pandemic places fresh difficulties on us every day.

"I have no magic wand.

"There are no easy solutions, but I can promise you this.

"Nobody will work harder than me to make sure that FINA emerges from this crisis stronger than ever."

Julio Maglione's 12-year reign as FINA President is set to end next year ©Getty Images
Julio Maglione's 12-year reign as FINA President is set to end next year ©Getty Images

In September, the Kuwait Government backed Al-Musallam's campaign, following the Kuwait Swimming Association's nomination in July.

The AASF Ethics Commission also cleared him to stand.

Al-Musallam is a former swimmer and competed at events including the World Championships in the 1970s.

His spell in the FINA Bureau began in 1996, with Al-Musallam becoming first vice-president in 2015.

After joining the OCA in 1982, Al-Musallam was appointed director general in 2005.

FINA's Presidential election is scheduled for June 5 next year, in Doha.

In 2017, Al-Musallam was re-elected as FINA first vice-president after aquatics' global governing body dismissed allegations linked to a football bribery case and commissions relating to 2012 OCA sponsorship deals. 

Al-Musallam is currently the favourite to succeed Maglione, who in turn will remain in the FINA Executive after stepping aside.

Chinese Swimming Association President Zhou Jihong is planning a run for first vice-president at next year's FINA elections.