Emirates is official partner for Asian Football Confederation

AFC is FifaÕs largest body.

Emirates airline has announced an official partnership with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

Mohamed bin Hammam, AFC president and Ghaith Al Ghaith, commercial operations director of Emirates Airline, were among those attending the official signing ceremony, held at the Ritz Carlton Doha.

In an agreement that will run until 2005, Emirates Airline will enjoy sponsorship benefits at Asia's premier football events including the newly formed AFC Champions League, and the Asian Cup, which will be held in China in 2004.

Emirates will feature on all AFC publicity materials, including perimeter boards in stadiums throughout Asia, and a ticketing facility for all the official AFC tournaments.

The Asian Football Confederation comprises 44 national associations and is the largest and most diverse of FIFA's six governing bodies.

Al Ghaith cited the example of Emirates' sponsorship of the Chelsea Football Club as a major move in sports sponsorship, which has received global recognition and increased awareness of the Emirates brand through the world. Emirates is also a keen supporter of major sporting events including the Dubai Rugby Sevens and the PGA European Tour's Dubai Desert Classic. The award-wining airline also supports horse races worldwide including The Melbourne Cup Carnival, the Singapore Derby and the richest race in the world, the Dubai Desert Classic.