ADHRB Asks Asian Football Confederation Members to Reject Bahrain’s Candidate for AFC President

Earlier this week, ADHRB sent a letter to members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Congress asking them to oppose the candidacy of Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa to the position of AFC president in elections to be held on May 2.

As described in the letter, following the outbreak of protests in Bahrain in 2011, the Bahrain Football Association—headed by Sheikh Al-Khalifa—oversaw the suspension of several football players who had participated in peaceful protests, including members of Bahrain’s national team. Several of those players were subsequently arrested, detained, and publicly humiliated, and some have claimed that they were abused and tortured during their detention.

In its letter, ADHRB called upon AFC Congress members to elect a candidate whose values reflect the principles enshrined in the AFC Code of Ethics, which requires officials to “respect the personal rights” of those with whom they interact, and to behave with “credibility and integrity.” Sheikh Al-Khalifa’s failure of leadership as head of the Bahrain Football Association falls far short of these values, rendering him unfit for the position of AFC president.