FIFA presidential candidate Salman says he would examine role of U.S. law, consulting firms

Sat Jan 9, 2016 12:12am EST
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By Simon Evans

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - FIFA presidential candidate Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said that if he is elected he will examine the role of the U.S law and consulting firms that were hired by the global soccer body in response to a U.S. Department of Justice probe of corruption in the sport.

In an interview with Reuters on Friday, Sheikh Salman, president of the Asian Football Confederation and one of five candidates running in the Feb. 26 vote to be the next FIFA president, said a close look was needed because he was not fully convinced FIFA was getting enough out of the relationship.

FIFA last year hired U.S. law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and New York-based crisis and communications adviser Teneo, and the two firms have been working with FIFA's legal and communications staff at its Zurich headquarters.

Quinn Emanuel is conducting an internal investigation of FIFA and representing the body before U.S. prosecutors. Teneo was hired "to work across operational and reputational priorities," a FIFA spokeswoman said last year.

"If they are doing a good job, I don't think anyone will say no, but you have to convince your board as to what are the benefits," said Sheikh Salman, a member of Bahrain's ruling royal family.

"If there is a role, a positive role for them, then that's fine. If we feel that is too much, then I am sure that we are going to review that," he said.

Representatives of Quinn Emanuel and Teneo declined to comment on Friday.

Sepp Blatter, who spent 17 years as president of FIFA, was late last year slapped by FIFA with an eight-year ban from the game for ethics violations. Issa Hayatou has been acting president since October, pending the February election.   Continued...

FIFA presidential candidate Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad