LONDON (AP) — FIFA presidential candidate Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al Khalifa dismissed a rival's complaint approximately his election conduct as "entirely inaccurate" & warned on Saturday against public squabbling.
Prince Ali bin al-Hussein has accused Bahrain's Sheikh Salman of a "blatant attempt to engineer a bloc vote" by signing a pact between the Asian Football Confederation he leads & its counterpart in Africa. Jordanian federation president Prince Ali on Friday asked FIFA's election watchdog to investigate whether election rules were broken.
But in a statement on Saturday, titled "An unnecessary spat between FIFA candidates," Sheikh Salman insisted the Asia-Africa pact was being worked on months before he decided to run in the Feb. 26 election to replace Sepp Blatter.
p>"I am astonished approximately my friend's comments, which are wholly dismissed & entirely inaccurate," Sheikh Salman said.
The Bahraini royal said that talks approximately the "memorandum of understanding" started when the general secretaries of the Asia & African governing bodies met in May. He noted that the AFC has similar cooperation agreements with FIFA & two other regional bodies: UEFA & CONCACAF.
"As AFC president, one of my duties is to seek development-knowhow sharing opportunities for the AFC around the world & to establish solid ties with like-minded football professionals," the sheikh said.
Sheikh Salman & Prince Ali are competing against UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino, former FIFA official Jerome Champagne, & South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale in a five-man election field.
Prince Ali was beaten in May's presidential election by Blatter, who announced resignation plans the following week in the wake of criminal investigations into FIFA officials, & was after banished from world soccer for eight years by the ethics judge.
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Prince AliSalman bin Ibrahim al KhalifaFIFASepp Blatter
Source: “Associated Press”