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FIA president denies sexism claims and defends historic remarks after 'inhuman' attack

FIA president denies sexism claims and defends historic remarks after 'inhuman' attack

F1 News

FIA president denies sexism claims and defends historic remarks after 'inhuman' attack

FIA president denies sexism claims and defends historic remarks after 'inhuman' attack

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has refuted accusations of misogyny, after remarks where he mentioned not favouring women 'who think they are smarter than men' came to light.

In December 2021, the 62-year-old was elected to one of the highest positions in motorsports, tasked with overseeing Formula 1.

However, it came to light in January 2023 that Ben Sulayem was cited in an archived version of his former website stating that he does 'not like women who think they are smarter than men, for they are not in truth'.

Ben Sulayem has now dismissed claims of being a misogynist and sexist and has publicly addressed the comments for the first time since they resurfaced.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem was appointed as FIA President in 2021
Mohammed Ben Sulayem has dismissed claims of sexism and misogyny

Ben Sulayem denies misogyny

“What did I say, if I said it?” said Ben Sulayem, per the Independent. “Let’s assume it was (me). I tell you exactly what it said. It says: ‘I hate when women think they are smarter than us’. But they hate when men think they are smarter than them.

“Did I say we are smarter? No. Did I say they are less smart? No. For God’s sake, if that is the only thing they have against me, please be my guest, you can do worse than that.

“People can go back and see what has been said, and if I have said anything against women. In 117 years of the FIA, I am the only president who brought in a female CEO.”

Ben Sulayem also stressed that he has consistently made efforts to foster equality and promote diversity, implementing initiatives such as diversity and inclusion policies and actively encouraging greater female representation in the sport.

“I don’t want to [make] any comment,” Ben Sulayem added. “But that is from September. Sexism, please! Do they have anything else? Why don’t they come and confront me?”

Ben Sulayem: Campaign against me 'inhuman'

Mohammed Ben Sulayem says he has been subjected to racist remarks

Ben Sulayem also revealed that he had been subjected to racial attacks regarding his appointment as president and had become the target of an 'inhuman' campaign.

“The attack on me earlier this year was inhuman,” he added. “With the tragedy that I had. I would love that if I did these things that I was accused of, you sit with me, challenge me and confront me. But don’t fabricate and throw things at me, and then when I tell you to prove it, you run away and don’t come back. That is not the way.

“Imagine in my campaign, in Europe, that someone said to me: ‘Don’t ever think we will accept our president of the FIA to be an Arab Muslim with the name of Mohammed’.

“I laughed because I knew how to beat him – by winning. But my Christian team were so upset with him. I said, ‘no, leave it, please, this is something I expect from them’. But can we go back to work? And work for the passion that we love, which is motorsport, and improve it?”

READ MORE: FIA chief Ben Sulayem outlines KEY DEMAND for future F1 cars

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