AFC president Sheik Salman arrives in Manila for glitzy anniversary celebration
President Nonong Araneta and the PFF will be hosting some of the most influential people in football during the AFC Awards Night. Jerome Ascano

THE first batch of distinguished guests has arrived in Manila for the 60th anniversary celebration of the Asian Football Confederation, highlighted by the AFC Awards Night on Sunday at the Makati Shangri-La.

AFC president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has flown in on Monday ahead of the other 400 delegates expected to grace the grand event that marks the return of the AFC to the country where it was founded in 1954.

“We welcome Sheikh Salman and AFC member associations’ official delegates to the Philippines,” PFF president Nonong Araneta said.

Fifa (International Football Federation) president Sepp Blatter, Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke, and international football legends whose identities have yet been confirmed are expected to attend the gala, while AFC general secretary Dato Alex Soosay, and other officials will arrive in the next few days.

Exemplary players, coaches, national teams, clubs, member associations, and referees will be recognized in the occasion, which will be hosted by beauty queen Maggie Wilson and ESPN’s Jason Dasey.

Renowned Filipino musician Ryan Cayabyab composed the anniversary’s theme song, while internationally acclaimed Pinay singer Lea Salonga is also expected to perform.

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