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Salman Al Khalifa Announces Bid For New Term for AFC

2022-05-19 - 6:41 p

Bahrain Mirror: Asia's football chief announced his bid for a third term in office on Wednesday, days after backing FIFA boss Gianni Infantino for a fresh mandate.Salman, who has led the Asian Football Confederation since 2013, said he would stand for a new term at the AFC Congress in his home country of Bahrain next February.

"I would like to inform you today that I will be standing for re-election in 2023," he told a virtual Congress.

"I hope to receive your trust and support once again for the next term as the AFC President," Sheikh Salman said, according to the AFC website.

The Bahraini royal was a rival candidate to Infantino when the Italian-Swiss was elected FIFA president in 2016 after a major corruption scandal ended the reign of Sepp Blatter.

Human rights groups have criticized Salman for his silence on the case of Bahraini player and refugee Hakeem Al-Araibi, who was detained in Thailand and threatened to be deported to Bahrain. 

Al-Araibi, who was released following a global advocacy campaign led by Australian coach Craig Foster, believes he was targeted for allegedly implicating Sheikh Salman in a crackdown on anti-government protests in 2011, which included the arrest and torture of football players.

Salman had denied the allegations, but at the time he was criticized for not using his influence to support Al-Araibi. 

The AFC said that Salman had stayed away from the Al-Araibi's case to avoid accusations of a conflict of interest.

Arabic Version