FRANKFURT: Germany’s football leaders believe persistent allegations of human rights misconduct have rendered Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Kalifa untenable as a credible next president of FIFA writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The head of the Asian confederation is one of five candidates standing for president of the world governing body ahead of an extraordinary congress next Friday in Zurich.
He has denied claims by human rights activists about his role in the Bahrain government’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in 2011.
However Reinhard Rauball, interim joint president of the German DFB, has not been satisfied by those denials.
Rauball, who stepped up after the resignation of Wolfgang Niersbach over a 2006 World Cup cash controversy, said: “When it comes to football Sheikh Salman makes a good impression.
“But the persistent doubts over the human rights issue means we could not consider voting for him.”
Instead the DFB, like a vast majority of European federations, will cast its vote for Gianni Infantino, the general secretary of UEFA.
Rauball, in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, rejected suggestions that Infantino had been too close, for too long, to UEFA head Michel Platini who has been banned from football for eight years for financial misconduct in office as a FIFA vice-president.
Rauball said: “It would be unjust for Gianni Infantino to be rejected merely because Michel Platini was his boss.”