View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Friday, September 5, 2008

Manchester City Asked to Consider UAE Human Rights Record

The purchase of the Manchester City Football Club by the Abu Dhabi royal family is not quite as easy as putting millions of dirhams on the table.

The question of the human rights record of the UAE is being raised and the extent to which the British Football Club will be tarnished by it association with the Gulf nation’s record and laws that discriminate against Israelis and gays.

The British Mirror reports this complication

A human rights campaign group has called on the FA and Premier League to review the Fit and Proper Person Test after Manchester City's takeover by Abu Dhabi United Group.

The investment arm of the Abu Dhabi royal family, rulers of the second largest of the United Arab Emirates, bought out the club on Monday and instantly splashed out £32.5million on Robinho.

But campaign group Mafiwasta has questioned the country's human rights record.

Mafiwasta, an organisation which campaigns for the UAE to sign up to International Labour Organisation conventions on freedom of association and collective bargaining, said: "To protect the reputation of the game, Mafiwasta urges both the FA and Premier League to undertake a wholesale review of the formulation of the Fit and Proper Person Test currently in force- one which in its present form is utterly insufficient to address the role of the principal actors in the takeover of Man City FC in human rights abuses in the UAE."

The entire article can be read at:

Mirror, 5 September 2008.

What do you think? Is the relationship one in which the club will be seen to condone human rights abuses and discrimination? To what extent will the Manchester City Football Club be affected by its association with the Emirates?

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: The Manchester City, Mafiwasta, human rights, football, Robinho and dirhams.