AFC general secretary Alex Soosay steps down amid claims he obstructed a 2012 audit of accounts

Soosay, who did not make a comment, is a former coach and Malaysia international midfielder. He was suspended last month pending a probe into allegations he tried to obstruct a 2012 audit of AFC accounts.

Asian Football Confederation secretary general Alex Soosay, shown here addressing the public during the AFC Asian Cup Qatar in 2011, stepped down Wednesday amid claims of a cover-up. AFP PHOTO/KARIM JAAFAR
Powered by automated translation

Asian Football Confederation general secretary Alex Soosay has quit amid a probe into allegations that he ordered a cover-up during an audit of the organisation in 2012.

The AFC issued a statement on Wednesday to announce the resignation, and to thank Soosay for his 20-year career at the regional governing body. The statement did not give any reasons, and Soosay did not comment.

Soosay, a former coach and Malaysia international midfielder, was suspended last month pending a probe into allegations he tried to obstruct a 2012 audit of AFC accounts.

Read more:

Malaysian newspaper The Malay Mail reported earlier this year that it had obtained a video from July 2012 which showed AFC financial director Bryan Kuan Wee Hong telling a Fifa investigator that Soosay had asked for any incriminating evidence potentially connecting him to wrongdoing under disgraced former president Mohamed bin Hamman to be concealed.

In a statement last month announcing that Soosay had been suspended, the AFC said: “A video statement conducted as part of a Fifa investigation was passed to media recently, and the AFC has now been able to verify its authenticity.”

Soosay, who became AFC general secretary in 2009, said last month there was nothing in the allegations and claimed it was a smear attempt. He dismissed the allegations saying “the case is closed” and that the video had been “taken out of context”.

The AFC said deputy general secretary Windsor John will be in charge of the secretariat until a replacement is appointed.

Bin Hammam resigned in 2011 while under investigation for conflicts of interest and financial mismanagement at the AFC and was later expelled from football by Fifa. In 2012, Pricewaterhouse Coopers conducted an internal audit of the running of the AFC under Bin Hammam and questioned the awarding of TV rights and millions of dollars of payments into AFC accounts “purportedly for the personal use of its president”.

Allegations against Bin Hammam emerged during his campaign to unseat Sepp Blatter as Fifa president in 2011. The Qatari withdrew from the campaign amid allegations he attempted to buy votes, and Blatter retained his post unopposed.

The documents Soosay was accused of trying to hide are thought to relate to payments ordered by Bin Hammam.

Follow us on Twitter at NatSportUAE