A racism row has erupted in the race for FIFA’s next president after a senior figure at Bahrain’s football association mistakenly claimed an Israeli heads one of the candidate’s campaigns, writes Justin Cohen.
Several tweets from the account of Mohammed Mdwb, the Bahrain national team’s media officer, sought to draw attention to the claims this morning.
The first showed a screen grab of an article from a Jewish newspaper about the appointment of UK-based PR guru Shimon Cohen to represent Prince Ali of Jordan.
Another showed an image of Welsh-born Cohen alongside Prince Ali – wrongly describing the former as Israeli.
In a farcical twist of events, a third message pictured Simon Cohen, who played football for Israel in the 1960s, adding that he was running the FIFA presidential campaign.
One of Prince Ali’s rivals to succeed Sepp Blatter is Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, former president of the Bahrain FA and current President of the Asian Football Confederation. He is viewed as favourite for the top job in a five-man race.
The PR’s Office’s Cohen – the one who is actually involved in Prince Ali’s campaign – told the Jewish News: “It is racism and anti-Semitism and has no place in football. I am also very upset at being mistaken for a 73 year old retired footballer.”