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German Leading Newspapers: Al Khalifa Autocrat to Clean FIFA up

2016-02-26 - 9:06 p

Bahrain Mirror: Several European newspapers launched severe attacks against the member of the ruling family in Bahrain, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, who is considered to be the prominent candidate for FIFA presidency, in the exceptional elections held on Friday (February 26, 2016) in Zurich, Switzerland.    

Under the title "Sheikh Salma: Autocrat to Clean up FIFA", the leading daily "Süddeutsche Zeitung" newspaper in Germany, said that Salman bin Ibrahim was the candidate who most promised in reforms, talking about decreasing his salary in case he won, in addition to other measures to root up the corruption sources in FIFA.

However, the newspaper further stated that Salman's credibility has scattered after several reports made his role in oppressing Bahrain's 2011 uprising questionable. Despite this, the newspaper said that his chances in the presidential race are still high.

However, the German newspaper also noted that there are reports that linked Salman bin Ebrahim to the deposed FIFA president Sepp Blatter, considering that Salman's is Blatter's favorite candidate.

Süddeutsche Zeitung added that Salman bin Ebrahim was involved in corruption suspicions since his election as the president of the Asian Football Confederation in 2009. He was also involved in corruption cases, money laundering and tax evasion in the confederation in 2012.

"At the end, things are as such: autocrat from a police country like this wants to put an end now to corruption in FIFA," it concluded.

For its part, the German "Bild" newspaper said that Sheikh Salman's lawyer contacted the newspaper threatening to bring forth a lawsuit against it in case it continues to describe Salman as a torturer.    

"Bild", similar to several western media, re-published the testimony of former Bahrain national team player, Hakeem Al-Oraibi, who has recently stated that he is one of the players who were beaten and he was threatened to have his leg broken in case he continues to play. Torturers told Al-Oraibi that they don't want to see any Shiite player representing Bahrain's national team.

Al-Oraibi expressed his regret for accepting the candidacy of Sheikh Salman, and said: "I think that the FIFA and international organizations need to take serious stance against corruption...his candidacy is considered a threat to the athletes," adding that "Salman needs to stand before the judge instead of being a candidate for FIFA."

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