A group of about 50 supporters of Bahraini Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa’s bid to be elected FIFA president rallied on the road as delegates arrived before casting their votes in Zurich for new leader of world soccer on Friday.
The crowd cheered while holding banners saying “FIFA Will Be Safe With Salman” and “Support The Clean Man” they said Sheikh Salman was the right man to lead the troubled governing body into a new era following the end of Sepp Blatter’s near 18-year reign.
Human rights groups have accused him Sheikh Salman of committing unlawful activities; however, he has strongly denied involvement in any wrongdoing.
“Everyone has a different perspective of what happened, but we feel he is a clean man and he can make a difference for FIFA,” Reuters cited Mohamed Al Shaman, a 25-year-old businessman among the crowd.
After decades of corruption, the world football governing body FIFA is hoping for a fresh start as it faces on Friday one of the most important days in its 112-year history when it elects a new leader. A comprehensive set of reforms, aimed to prevent corruption, will be voted on before the presidential election and are expected to be passed. They include term limits for top officials and disclosure of their earnings.
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, 50, faces Swiss Gianni Infantino, Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, Frenchman Jerome Champagne and South African Tokyo Sexwale in the vote. He is the bookmakers’ favorite with UEFA’s Swiss general secretary Gianni Infantino a close second.
Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein believes he is still unquestionably in the race however, while Frenchman Jerome Champagne and South African Tokyo Sexwale will hope to make an impact.