FIFA was under fire yesterday for winding up its anti-racism task force with former presidential candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan describing the move as worrying and shameful.
The decision emerged on Friday when Osasu Obayiuwana, a Nigerian broadcaster and lawyer who was a member of the panel, published a letter on Twitter which he received from FIFA saying the task force “was dissolved and no longer in operation”.
“The notion that the current FIFA leadership believes that the task force’s recommendations have been implemented is shameful,” said Prince Ali, who has twice run for the FIFA presidency.
He added that the announcement was “incredibly worrying”.
“Never has the need to combat racism and racial discrimination been more evident than it is in the world we live in today,” Prince Ali said. “It is not something that any governing body with any semblance of responsibility can downplay or deny.
“The reality, as with many programmes within FIFA, is that the task force was never given real support since its conception and its role was more about FIFA’s image than actually tackling the issues.”
The letter published by Obayiuwana said the task force had achieved the goals which were set out for it when it was created under the leadership of disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter in 2013.
Britain’s Kick It Out anti-racism group said it was perplexed by FIFA’s decision, especially as the move came less than two years before the World Cup in Russia, a country it said was “notorious for racism and abusive activities towards minorities”.
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