Berlin: Acting DFB president Reinhard Rauball has said the German FA will not vote for Sheikh Salman in next week's FIFA presidency elections because of his suspected human rights abuses.
The DFB has already said they will be voting for UEFA candidate Gianni Infantino in the elections to replace disgraced FIFA president Sepp Blatter in Zurich on February 26. But in an interview with Thursday's edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), Rauball explained why Bahraini candidate Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa is not an option for the Germans.
"In terms of football, he makes a good impression. But given the human rights issues and the persistent doubts, which have not been cleared up, we will not vote for him," Rauball told the FAZ. Greg Dyke, chairman of the English Football Association, has cast similar doubts over Sheikh Salman's bid to succeed Blatter.
Despite being the bookmakers' favourite to replaced Blatter, Sheikh Salman, a member of Bahrain's royal family, is suspected of human rights violations which followed the pro-democracy demonstrations in Bahrain in 2011.
He has repeatedly avoided questioning over the issue and was one of the first candidates to withdraw from a proposed 'New FIFA Now' forum in Brussels last month, but continues to insist he has no 'skeletons in the closet'.
Rauball repeated the German FA's decision to support Infantino who served under disgraced UEFA president Michel Platini as general secretary of European football's governing body. "It would be unjust just for him to get rejected because Michel Platini was his boss in recent years," said the 69-year-old Rauball.