The Guardian Wonders: Is Salman Al Khalifa a Safe Pair of Hands for World Football?
2015-10-20 - 11:50 p
Bahrain Mirror: The Guardian posted an article by Owen Gibson in which he wondered whether the hands of Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa are safe for world football, following news about his nomination for FIFA presidency.
In the article, entitled "Fifa crisis: is Sheikh Salman a safe pair of hands for world football?" Gibson highlights the main reason behind this by saying that "when Sepp Blatter needed a safe pair of hands for the delicate task of moving the Qatar 2022 World Cup to winter, the Fifa president knew just where to turn."
"He is drawing support from Europe, Asia, South America and Africa, so there is a strong chance he could become Fifa's first Asian president in the election to replace the disgraced and deposed Blatter in February next year," Gibson added.
"The 49-year-old will go to Zurich on Monday for talks with the various confederation heads before announcing his candidacy and will no doubt be painted as the man who can wash away the stains of corruption that have enveloped Fifa's opulent glass and chrome HQ," he further stated.
"His supporters will point to the fact that he has been Asian Football Confederation president only since 2013, at which point he also joined the Fifaexecutive committee. As such, they say, he is untainted by its culture of kleptocracy and entitlement," explained Gibson.
"Salman will be a front for another royal from a nearby Gulf state...Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti who is increasingly powerful on the global sports circuit. He has to address questions about his country's human rights record, and in particular any role in quashing the 2011 pro-democracy demonstrations that gripped the country in 2011, that were raised during his 2013 AFC presidency bid but will only return at louder volume now. He denies that he played any part," he added.
He concluded his article by saying that "Football's insular leaders, fearful of their own positions as the Swiss prosecutor and the FBI continue their investigations, may already believe they have found their man. Convincing the wider world that installing a Sheikh from a feudal monarchy who owes his position to those now under suspicion represents progress will be a tougher job altogether."
The Guardian posted another article by journalist Owen Gibson in which he highlighted the involvement of the Bahraini Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the Asian Football Confederation president, in the crackdown on anti-government protests in Bahrain, following news of his nomination for the FIFA presidency.
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