FIFA candidate Sheikh Salman makes 'human rights' pledge
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 12/02/16 9:57am
FIFA presidential candidate Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has signed an amended version of a human rights pledge as he attempts to draw the sting from pressure groups opposing his campaign.
The pledge was put forward by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and three other groups asking presidential candidates to agree to "six clear steps that will put FIFA on the road to ensuring its events do not cause or contribute to human rights abuses and corruption".
Sheikh Salman, from Bahrain, has signed the pledge but with amendments - removing specific references to the Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 World Cups, and abuses against women and LGBT groups.
He said in a statement: "If we make a statement about equal rights and equal opportunities, it is obvious that we must practice an all-encompassing approach, which include all minorities and not solely those that were mentioned by Human Rights Watch in their original pledge.
"I am of the view that we must not be selective in any area that concerns human rights."
He added his pledge "includes all future hosts of World Cups and other FIFA tournaments".
The Sheikh handed a signed copy of the pledge to EU commissioner for youth, culture and sport Tibor Navracsics in Belgium on Wednesday.
I am of the view that we must not be selective in any area that concerns human rights.
Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa
Asian football president Sheikh Salman is seen as the front-runner for the February 26 election but has been forced to deny claims from human rights groups that he was involved in the arrest and alleged torture of Bahraini players after the 2011 pro-democracy protests.
One of his rivals, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, on Thursday accused him of failing to protect his players.
The other candidates are UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino, South Africa's Tokyo Sexwale and former FIFA general secretary Jerome Champagne.