Salman denies charges

Salman denies charges
Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa rejects British PM's claim.

Zurich - Fifa GOAL programmes contain financing for specific projects and are not intended for general use by a federation or an official.



By Agencies

Published: Thu 25 Feb 2016, 5:46 PM

British Member of Parliament Damian Collins used parliamentary privilege on Tuesday to accuse Fifa presidential candidate Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of taking development project funds to finance an election bid. The claims, made in a speech in the UK House of Commons, were swiftly rejected by Salman who is battling Gianni Infantino, the Swiss general secretary of European soccer body UEFA, and three other candidates for the top job in world football.
Conservative MP Collins, a supporter of the campaign group 'New Fifa Now', made the allegations relating to Salman's attempt in 2009 to be elected to the Fifa executive committee and his 2013 successful election to the presidency of the Asian Football Confederation.
Fifa will vote on Friday for a new president to replace Sepp Blatter, who has been banned from the game for eight years. Collins, who made his allegations in the form of a petition in the House Of Commons, alleged Salman had misused Fifa funds meant for developing football.
"In August 2009 Sheikh Salman, then Bahrain FA president, was accused of using Fifa financed sports development budgets to fund his unsuccessful campaign for Fifa executive committee election," Collins told parliament.
"In a leaked letter received by the Al Bilad newspaper it was claimed that Sheikh Salman had spent upwards of 850,000 dinars (1.6 million GBP) on his campaign and that some of his money had come from Fifa financed football development projects," said Collins, citing two Fifa 'GOAL programmes'.
Reuters was not immediately able to verify Collins's claim regarding the newspaper report and the leaked letter. It was not clear who was the author of the letter.
Fifa GOAL programmes contain financing for specific projects and are not intended for general use by a federation or an official.
Fifa declined to comment and Fifa's Ethics Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment. "After Fifa requested urgent information from the Bahrain FA regarding the misappropriation of funds, Sheikh Salman did not comment until early December 2009, at which point he denied those claims, however the Bahrain FA did not dispute the contents of the leaked documents," said Collins, who did not specify which documents he was referring to.


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