Dangerous Development… Salman bin Ebrahim Told MoI He won’t be Affected by Al-Araibi’s Extradition to Bahrain

2019-02-10 - 4:51 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): AFC President Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa told Bahraini Interior Minister Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa that his status in the world would not be affected by the extradition of Hakeem Al-Araibi to Bahrain, confirmed two sources working in the Bahraini sports field.   

The two sources say that Salman bin Ebrahim supports the government's position, noting that "he doesn't seem to be opposing Al-Araibi's deportation to Bahrain, and supports retaliating against him (...) what concerns him in the first place is to maintain his position and relations with the football community around the world."

Al-Araibi, detained in Thailand, had played a major media role against the candidature of Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa for the presidency of the International Football Federation (FIFA) in February 2016. New information shows that Salman bin Ebrahim is eager to see Al-Araibi extradited to Bahrain.

This information does not contradict his announced stance, as Salman bin Ebrahim refuses to express a clear position on the issue that has become a concern to the football community around the world. The Confederation only issued a statement saying that Salman bin Ebrahim "has nothing to do with the case".

Brendan Schwab, Executive Director of athlete support group World Players Association, commented on the statement saying: "The Sheikh's admitted conflict of interest surely disqualifies him from office. Football leaders are now legally obliged to champion human rights, not turn a blind eye."

Despite the pressure exerted by the world on Salman bin Ebrahim, he still refuses to demand the release of Al-Araibi, entrusting his vice president, Praful Patel, with following the case.

For his part, the president of the Jordanian Football Federation, Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, intensified his criticism against Salman bin Ebrahim's stance on the issue. The brother of the king of Jordan reiterated his belief that bin Ebrahim was involved in violations committed against Bahraini athletes.

In a tweet posted on his Twitter account the Jordanian prince said "The protection of our players is our foremost duty and responsibility. This principle remains no matter what," demanding Al-Araibi's release.

Prince Ali has been competing for the FIFA presidency. He re-posted a television interview in which he said that Salman bin Ebrahim was involved in Bahrain's 2011 violations against athletes, as part of a crackdown against those calling for reform.

The Prince stressed, "he did not do his duty in protecting athletes," adding that he was involved and agreed to what happened.

Salman bin Ebrahim's belief that he will be safe no matter what the developments of the events of Al-Araibi case are shows his disregard for human rights, and confirms in one way or another what Prince Ali bin Al Hussein has said about his involvement in violations against athletes.

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