MANAMA: Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has insisted that, if he wins the FIFA presidential election next February 26, he will not need to take a salary.
The Bahraini who is already a world federation vice-president as well as head of the Asian confederation, was addressing his campaign themes in an interview with Associated Press.
One of the major irritants of FIFA under Sepp Blatter has been the paying of mere lip-service to the concept of transparency with a persistent refusal to detail the remuneration of senior executives.
Under Sheikh Salman this, apparently, need not be an issue because, as a member of the Bahraini ruling royal family, he has no need of the income.
He said: “I don’t want too much power with the president — the power has to be shared. I believe in doing things in a different way, not being centralised where the president has to do every detail in running the business.
“I don’t want to be an executive president – and if I’m not an executive president I don’t see how I do deserve to be paid.”
Five candidates were approved last week by the FIFA electoral committee though Frenchman Michel Platini and fromer Trinidad international David Nakhid still hope to join in.
Platini, president of European federation UEFA, is contesting an ethics suspension for misconduct in office while Nakhid has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against his exclusion over a nominations blunder.
Inevitably, by the time of the election, several candidates will have dropped out.
Sheikh Salman said: “I’d like to see most of the continents agreeing on a single candidate but we have to work for this in the next few weeks.”
He is one of two Asian candidates, the other being Prince Ali of Jordan, his predecessor as Asia’s FIFA vice-president.
Sheikh Salman reiterated his rebuttal of allegations linking him to the detention and torture of Bahrain national team players after the crackdown on pro-demoracy demonstrators in 2011.
He said: “Unfortunately I have been used as tool just for a purpose which is a political one … in elections you always see dirty tricks and dirty lies.
“Either got the wrong guy and the wrong name or I’m sorry to say they are creating nasty lies about something they want to use for their purpose.
“If they want to look at political issues I think there are other channels that they need to talk (to) but here in football we talk about football … we don’t want politics to get involved in matters of the game.”
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