MANAMA: FIFA presidential contender Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has endorsed the role of the media in combating corruption in sport.

Sheikh Salman, head of the the Asian Football Confederation and a vice-president of world federation FIFA, was welcoming members of the executive committees of AIPS* and the AIPS-Asia continental section to Manama for their two-day congress.

He is one of the most controversial contenders for the FIFA presidential election next February because of allegations – which he has denied vehemently – concerning the Bahrian protest crackdown in 2011.

However Sheikh Salman insisted: “Journalism is a partnership between us as sports officials and the media go hand in hand to do the right thing. We have big responsibilities toward our societies and our countrymen and I hope that with this partnership journalism will lead us on the right path.

“Journalists are the eyes and ears of the people and their role is important, absolutely.

“Not just in fighting corruption but many issues in sport: corruption, match fixing and more. As long as the media report with a clear conscious and good intentions then journalism is most definitely the right way, as it promotes the principles we all stand by.”

FIFA contenders

The seven contenders for the FIFA election to choose a successor to outoing, suspended  president Sepp Blatter in Zurich on February 26 are as follows:

Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan (former FIFA vice-president);

Musa Bility (president of the Liberian federation);

Jerome Champagne (French ex-FIFA official;

Gianni Infantino (Swiss general secretary of UEFA);

Michel Platini (president of European federation UEFA [currently suspended]);

Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa (Bahrain; Asian confederation president)

Tokyo Sexwale (South African businessman and head of FIFA’s Palestine-Israel Monitoring Commission).

** AIPS is the international sports journalists’ association with 10,000 members worldwide. More information:

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