From The Independent daily in Britain:
Saturday 05 October 2013
The involvement of the Bahraini Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa as a leading figure in Fifa’s committee that will determine whether the 2022 World Cup finals should be moved from its traditional summer date is a controversial one given previous allegations made against him over human rights issues.
Three Bahraini human rights organisations have written to Fifa asking for Salman’s nomination as head of the Asian Football Confederation to be overturned, claiming he was involved in the arrest and torture of Bahraini players following the pro-democracy demonstrations in the country two years ago. Salman has always denied any wrongdoing.
The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights wrote to Sepp Blatter earlier this year, saying that Salman “is involved in human rights violations with the assistance of his office and consultants against players, administrators, referees and clubs who participated in the democracy protests in February 2011. We would like to bring to your kind attention the most important acts of revenge carried out by Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa against groups that are affiliated with football.”
After his election as AFC president in May – the role had come vacant after Mohamed bin Hammam was forced out following corruption allegations – Salman responded vigorously to the allegations, that he identified players who had taken part in demonstrations.
A number of Bahraini sportsmen were arrested and imprisoned for taking part in the demonstrations in 2011. One Bahraini international footballer, Mohammed Hubail, was sentenced to two years in prison. Salman has been president of the Bahrain Football Association since 2002.
Bahraini dictatorship charges ex-opposition MP with “terrorist crimes”: here.
A PAKISTANI family who has lived in Bahrain for more than three generations could be deported because they are still waiting to receive their citizenship: here.
- Blatter: ‘World Cup will be in Qatar’ (theguardian.com)
- Qatar World Cup controversy: bribes, slavery and alcohol (theweek.co.uk)
- Club bosses divided on 2022 World Cup (sbs.com.au)
- Fifa must consult over Qatar World Cup switch, says Richard Scudamore (theguardian.com)
- OP-ED: Bahrain Repression Continues Amid Sham Trials and Imprisonment (ipsnews.net)
- World Cup 2022: Fifa taskforce to seek new dates for tournament (diamondheaziblog.wordpress.com)
- FIFA on 2022 World Cup: No decision before 2014 tournament (prosoccertalk.nbcsports.com)
- Fifa sets up 2022 World Cup taskforce (bbc.co.uk)
- Blatter: FIFA will not be moved on Qatar (soccerway.com)