Shaikh Salman, a member of Bahrain's royal family and president of the Bahrain Football Association, overcame two other candidates - Dato' Worawi Makudi of Thailand and the UAE's Yousuf Yaqoob Yousuf Al Serkal - with 33 out of 49 votes from the AFC's member associations.

Saudi Arabia's Hafez Al Medlej withdrew on the eve of the elections after failing to win full support of the West Asian region.

While Shaikh Salman's campaign was dogged by accusations of human rights violations against Bahrain's pro-democracy demonstrations in 2011, Football Federation Australia chairman Frank Lowy welcomed the Bahraini's appointment.

"FFA warmly welcomes the election of Shaikh Salman and we look forward to a close working relationship with the new President," Lowy said in a statement released by the FFA.

"Over the recent past FFA has been in consultation with all of the candidates to discuss the issues and opportunities for Asian football and in particular the continuing reform process.

"We recognise that positive changes are underway and we will continue to contribute to strengthening the governance of the game across the AFC."

Meanwhile, Dodd, a former Matildas player and FFA director, was re-elected to the AFC executive as the women's football representative.

"I am delighted to be re-elected as AFC vice president and very grateful to our member associations for their confidence in me," Dodd said.

Lowy also paid tribute to Dodd's appointment after the former vice-captain of Australia's women's national team was the sole candidate for her position.

"The fact that Moya was re-elected unopposed shows she enjoys widespread support within the AFC," Lowy said.

"Moya will give Australia a voice at the AFC’s top table and contribute to football development over Asia."

Shaikh Salman will complete the rest of Bin Hamman's term as president, which ends in 2015, taking over from acting-president Zhang Ji Long of China.

The Bahraini was also elected as the FIFA Executive Member beating Hassan Al Thawadi of Qatar with 28 out of 46 votes.

"We need to utilise our tools, reinforce our commitments, be accountable for our actions and the success of our results, and ensure that our AFC funds are manageable," Sheikh Salman said.

"I believe that match-fixing has affected our development and I will ensure that your needs will be met."

Shakh Salman's appointment was welcomed by FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

“I congratulate Shaikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa for his brilliant election to the Presidency of the Asian Football Confederation, as well as to the FIFA Executive Committee," said Blatter.

"One of the key missions he will have to ensure is that unity prevails within the AFC.

"Unity, as well as solidarity, are absolutely key and necessary pillars for any institution to build solid plans and structures for its future.

"With two thirds of the world population, Asia clearly plays a huge role in the international football community. But it certainly has not yet reached its full potential. AFC shall unite all its energies to continue to strengthen the growth of the Game in Asia.”