CRITERIA FOR AFC HEADQUARTERS
In its meeting on 29 July 2008, the AFC Executive Committee decided to open the bid to AFC’s 46 Member Associations to host the AFC Headquarters. The Executive Committee decided to establish an Ad Hoc Committee to determine the criteria and requirements to be included in the bid document.
The bid will be opened to all cities within the 46 Member Associations. There can be more than one city bidding from the same country.
1. Host acceptance
a) The host city, host country and its governments and AFC’s Member Association must accept AFC and support all of its activities. (I thought it was clearly illustrated when the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak and the then Sports Minister, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, paid Hammam a courtesy call not long after the Manchester United issue was settled. A lot of goodwill though was lost due to the Malaysian Government's insistence that the Red Devils be allowed to play in Kuala Lumpur during the Asian Cup last year. Remember, the Malaysian Government was bound by the agreement they signed with the AFC that no other football activities were to be promoted throughout the Asian Cup. AFC's decision drew flak from the Malaysian public, who felt Hammam's fears that the presence of United would divert attention away from the July 7-29 Asian Cup as unfounded).
b) As AFC is a multi-cultural organisation, host country must address and accept the concept of non discrimination on the grounds of language, religion, gender and nationalities. (Hammam sounds like a politician from the Opposition)
c) The host country must have excellent diplomatic relations with all Asian countries. (Sounds like Malaysia)
d) The host city must be located in a politically and economically stable country with safe and secure environment. As AFC receives numerous guests each year, the host city and country must possess excellent international and domestic transport network, as well as sufficient number of five (5) star hotels. (Where else but Malaysia?)
2. Economic considerations
The cost of establishing and operating AFC should be a factor in the selection of the city. Issues, which may have an influence here, include living costs for employees, construction costs of the AFC Headquarters, establishment costs, operating costs, communication costs, and the costs associated with gaining access to the facilities AFC needs. The host city must provide AFC with a detailed costing of its utilities such as water, electricity, telephone, etc. (No problem, Syabas, TNB and TM will do the necessary)
3. Legal status and support
The laws and legislative framework of the host city and country must support AFC's objectives and activities. In particular, the laws and legislative framework must be conducive to the efficient operation of AFC and should cover the following main areas:
• Legal status of AFC
• International organisation which allows for diplomatic status for AFC and its senior officials (Hey Mr Hammam, even in Qatar you do not get red carpet treatment)
• Tax exemptions for all direct and indirect AFC revenue and duty-free transfer of goods, services, and money (So long as AFC is rooted on the hills of Bukit Jalil, it is subjected to Malaysian laws)
• Tax exemptions on purchase of office equipment and vehicles for AFC and its senior officials
• Legal status of AFC’s employees
• Guaranteed resident and employment permit for AFC employees and their direct families (spouses and children) (Well, perhaps the Immigration can exercise discretion here?)
• Tax exemptions for all AFC employees who are non-citizens of the host country (I know AFC people are saying why should they be paying tax to the Malaysian Government)
• Guaranteed issuance of visa for all AFC’s staff, families and guests. Senior AFC officials and VIP guests to be afforded VIP treatment at airports. (This can be discussed, I guess)
Headquarters and Connected Facilities
AFC requires a minimum of 30,000 square metres of land on which the AFC Headquarters and its connected facilities will be built. The land should be free of any encumbrance and provided to AFC without any financial cost. The land must be in a prime location that is easily accessible from both transport and communication perspectives as the AFC Headquarters and its connected facilities should be visible and approachable at all times. ( I thought Bukit Jalil was considered a prime location?)
AFC requires an interest-free loan to cover the cost of the construction of its headquarters and connecting facilities. Loan is to be repaid in 20 years with a grace period of five (5) years.
Preferential rates on all utilities to be offered.
Access to facilities
AFC must gain access to facilities which it may need to organise some of its competitions, particularly stadiums, indoor facilities and training fields. These facilities must be provided to AFC with no financial cost. (This can be discussed as it involves local authorities)
Temporary AFC Headquarters
In the event that AFC would like to move the AFC Headquarters prior to the completion of its Headquarters in the host city, the host country must provide AFC with a temporarily fully operational headquarters in the host city without any rental cost to AFC.
Any other benefits and privileges which the host country and host city would like to grant to AFC and/or its employees, members and guests must be detailed and presented in the bid document.