Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa has entered the race to become the next president of FIFA.
The Bahraini previously backed Michel Platini’s bid but has thrown his hat into the ring to replace the outgoing Sepp Blatter, who remains suspended by FIFA over investigations into an alleged “disloyal payment” to Platini – whose own running ambitions suffered following a 90-day suspension for his part.
Sheikh Salman is a member of Bahrain’s royal family and has been criticised by human rights organisations due to the regime’s oppression of previous pro-democratic demonstrations.
The deadline for submission is Monday, with elections scheduled to take place in February 2016.
Sheikh Salman’s candidacy was confirmed by the AFC in a statement, which read: “Sheikh Salman has assured the AFC Executive Committee, who offered him overwhelming support, and the 47 AFC Member Associations that his campaign will be entirely self-financed and that he will not use the AFC’s resources, human or otherwise, in the election.”
The 49-year-old joins UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino and Liberia Football Association chief Musa Bility in the race to succeed Blatter.