Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa denies human rights allegations
FIFA presidential candidate Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has issued a statement in which he categorically denies "entirely false" allegations made against him regarding his human rights record.
Asian Football Confederation president Salman, a member of the Bahrain royal family, has attracted opposition from human rights organisations due to the regime's actions in the suppression of the country's pro-democracy demonstrations in 2011.
Salman said in a statement he had "absolutely no involvement" in investigating and prosecuting athletes active in Bahrain's democracy protests in 2011.
"Recent allegations are entirely false and categorically denied by Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa," the statement read.
"While it was proposed that Sheikh Salman lead a fact-finding committee in relation to the events of 2011, that committee was never formally established and never conducted any business whatsoever.
"For the record, and in light of the recycling of historic allegations in the media, Sheikh Salman had absolutely no involvement in the identification, investigation, prosecution or mistreatment of any individuals as has been alleged."
Salman commands widespread support in Asia and is a close ally of Olympic powerbroker Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah from Kuwait. He has the "overwhelming support" of the AFC in his presidential bid.
Salman is one of seven candidates to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA president.
The others are Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan, UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino, Liberian FA president Musa Bility, former diplomat Jerome Champagne, South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale and UEFA president Michel Platini.
Platini is currently suspended from football pending an investigation into a £1.3 million payment he received from FIFA in 2011, and will only be allowed to stand in February's elections if he is reinstated before then.