Timothy Fok Tsun-ting yesterday insisted he was eligible to stand for election to the presidency of Hong Kong's Olympic Committee - but refused to give details of how he meets a stringent eight-year qualification rule. Fok's bid to be elected president of the Amateur Sports Federation and Olympic Committee (ASF & OC) appeared to have hit a snag after it was revealed he did not meet the eligibility criteria for the post. Article 23 of the ASF & OC's constitution states 'only current or former members . . . who are serving or have served for not less than two terms of four years each as the voting representatives of ordinary members of the Federation are eligible to hold office in the Federation or its committees.' The 1978 clause effectively bars Fok, who has been president of the Hong Kong Football Association for only seven months, from running for the post. But yesterday, 51-year-old Fok dismissed the ASF & OC rule out of hand. 'I strongly believe I am eligible for the job,' Fok said. 'I was surprised by the press report saying I am not eligible. I have been involved in the Hong Kong Football Association [as vice-president] from 1986 to 1997, and I have also participated in various national associations,' Fok added without elaborating. Senior ASF & OC sources said they expected Fok to point to his record of regularly attending council meetings on behalf of his father, tycoon Henry Fok Ying-tung, who was president of the HKFA until his son took over last year. 'Fok is likely to say that for eight years and more he attended on behalf of his father so he qualifies by the back door,' an official said. 'He would then ask for a vote to see if he could get acceptance by the council,' the source added. Another option open to Fok would be to seek a change in the ASF & OC's constitution. To do so, Fok would need to notify the ASF & OC acting honorary deputy secretary-general in writing, asking for an extraordinary general meeting to be held. 'He would need a proposer and a seconder and would have to outline exactly why he wants to hold the meeting,' a source told Sports Post. 'It would then be up to the ASF & OC to decide on when to hold the meeting, if at all . . . it could just be left until the AGM on March 24,' the source added. Vivien Fung, one of the vice-presidents of the ASF & OC and chairman of the Hong Kong Tenpin Bowling Congress, later said regardless of the constitution she expected Fok to take the presidency. 'I don't think there will be any opposition since [A de O] Sales is going to retire and Fok is the only person interested in the job so far,' Fung said. 'But whether an EGM will be called depends on Fok's will.' Sales, who has been president of the ASF & OC since 1967, announced on Tuesday that he would not stand for re-election. Fok has already been endorsed by three of the eight vice-presidents of the ASF & OC and, if allowed to stand, should walk into the post uncontested.