25 June 2011

The Bahrain Football Association faces being frozen out by FIFA after Bahrain international Mohamed Hubail was imprisoned on Thursday.

The Bahrain Football Association faces being frozen out by FIFA after Bahrain international Mohamed Hubail was imprisoned on Thursday. Hubail, capped 52 times for Bahrain, was sentenced to two years in prison by Bahrain's secret security court after being convicted of attending anti-government demonstrations.

Alaa Hubail, Mohamed's brother and international team-mate, is under trial in the same closed-doors court, established under Bahrain's martial law regime to crack down on dissenters.

The siblings were detained by authorities in April for their participation in Shiite-led protests against Bahrain's Sunni monarchy.

More than 150 athletes, coaches and referees have been suspended since martial law was imposed in March.

The United Nations human rights office in Geneva said on Friday that the trials of the Hubail brothers 'appear to bear the marks of political persecution' and ignored the due process rights of the defendants.

In response, FIFA has requested Bahrain officials provide details of all cases involving footballers and football officials.

The governing body has the power to suspend Bahrain if it suspects political interference in football affairs.

Such a sanction could prevent Bahrain from participating in the next round of Asian Olympics qualifiers, which gets underway in September.

Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al Khalifa, the Bahrain FA president, is also a member of the ruling royal family.

soccerway.com

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