/Open Source: Rights Groups Deplore Bahrain Royal’s Entry in Race to Lead FIFA

Open Source: Rights Groups Deplore Bahrain Royal’s Entry in Race to Lead FIFA

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Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, president of the Asian Football Confederation, at a meeting in Bahrain’s capital, Manama, in April.

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Mohammed Al-Shaikh/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Human rights activists expressed outrage on Monday at the possibility that the next president of world soccer’s governing body, FIFA, could be a member of Bahrain’s royal family, citing concerns about the monarchy’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests in 2011.

Even before Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa’s entry into the race to succeed Sepp Blatter was confirmed on Monday, rights groups had called on FIFA to investigate accusations that Sheikh Salman, the president of the Asian Football Confederation, had failed to protect soccer players who were jailed for taking part in peaceful demonstrations against his family’s stranglehold on power in the Persian Gulf monarchy.

“The election of a member of Bahrain’s royal family to the FIFA presidency will only further tarnish…

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