After bin Hammam legal saga, Asian soccer body plans presidential election in April

The Asian Football Confederation plans to elect a president next April, ending uncertainty since FIFA suspended incumbent Mohamed bin Hammam in May 2011.

AFC acting president Zhang Jilong says the election congress will be organized by mid-January, depending on advice from its legal committee.

At the Asian body's last assembly in January 2011, bin Hammam was elected unopposed to a four-year term in Doha, Qatar.

Bin Hammam then challenged Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency but withdrew when FIFA investigated allegations that he bribed voters.

The Qatari official got his life ban overturned, but is still suspended while FIFA's ethics prosecutor weighs fresh charges over alleged mismanagement of AFC finances and contracts.

Zhang, who assumed bin Hammam's FIFA executive committee seat, pledges to deliver "a new era of transparency."