Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has expressed ‘deep concern’ over the candidacy of Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman for the FIFA Presidency. The current President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) told the BBC earlier this month that he had been ‘urged to stand’ for the Presidency ‘by a growing number of senior football administrators.’ However ITUC General Secretary, Sharan Burrow, said that it ‘is inconceivable that someone who is facing such grave allegations of human rights violations could step into the void at the top of FIFA resulting from Swiss and US corruption investigations.’
Human rights group Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) have already urged the FIFA leadership to reject Salman’s presidential bid after accusations that he took part in a ‘crackdown against pro-democracy athletes in Bahrain in 2011.’ According to The Guardian, Salman formally submitted his candidature to be the next president of FIFA late on Sunday night.
Meanwhile, Reuters have reported that Tokyo Sexwale, a South African businessman and former anti-apartheid prisoner, has confirmed that he will run for the FIFA Presidency. Spokesman Peter Paul Ngwenya reportedly told the news agency that Sexwale was ‘South Africa’s candidate and we hope he will be all of Africa’s candidate.’ The news comes following the announcement by South African Football Association (SAFA)’s National Executive Committee (NEC) that they have ‘unanimously endorsed’ Sexwale as their candidate.
Sheikh Salman and Sexwale join Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, former Trinidad and Tobago footballer David Nakhid, ex-FIFA official Jerome Champagne and UEFA President Michel Platini as those who have submitted nominations.
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