Mosley hits out at decision to reinstate Bahrain
5 June 2011 – Former FIA President Max Mosley has taken the same stance as Red Bull driver Mark Webber over the restored Bahrain Grand Prix, claiming the decision to set a new date for the event is a ‘mistake’. A unanimous vote at a World Motor Sport Council gathering on Friday resulted in the race being rescheduled for October 30, but Mosley believes the outcome could be costly for the sport.
"Sporting bodies also have to overlook human rights violations in places where events are held and even in some member countries of the federations themselves," Mosley explained in a column for The Daily Telegraph.
"There are several reasons for this. First, to apply the highest standards of human rights you would have to exclude a very large number of countries from international sport, including at least one close ally of the United Kingdom.
"Secondly, if you were to apply anything less than the highest standards, you would be faced with endless debate about where to draw the line. Third, it is not the function of a sporting body to seek to dictate to governments what they can and cannot do. Politics should be left to the politicians.
"Why is this different to running an event in any number of countries where people are oppressed, kept in poverty, held without trial and mistreated (or worse) in prison? Surely the line has to be drawn when a sporting event is not mere entertainment in a less-than-perfect country, but is being used by an oppressive regime to camouflage its actions."
Mosley also said the FIA's choice will last in the memories of many people after the violence seen within the country earlier in the year.
"If a sport accepts this role, it becomes a tool of government. If Formula 1 allows itself to be used in this way in Bahrain, it will share the regime's guilt as surely as if it went out and helped brutalise unarmed protesters. The decision to hold the race is a mistake which will not be forgotten and, if not reversed, will eventually cost Formula 1 dear."