Soccer

Hammam: Investigate Blatter

2011-05-26 19:55
Mohamed bin Hammam (File)

Zurich - FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam fought back in an increasingly bitter election fight on Thursday, calling for Sepp Blatter to be investigated in a spiraling bribery scandal.

Bin Hammam urged the FIFA ethics panel, which is investigating him over allegations he tried to bribe voters in the Caribbean, to also examine the FIFA president's behavior.

The Qatari challenger said that evidence submitted to FIFA suggests Blatter broke their code of ethics by not reporting an apparent corruption attempt.

"The accusations also contain statements according to which Mr. Blatter, the incumbent FIFA president, was informed of, but did not oppose, payments allegedly made to members of the Caribbean Football Union," bin Hammam said in a statement.

Bin Hammam insisted that the scandal is a concerted "plan to damage" him and force him to withdraw from next Wednesday's election.

The counter claim provided another twist in an astonishing week for football's increasingly dysfunctional and discredited world governing body.

Bin Hammam's attack on his former ally was issued just three hours after the two men met and hugged at FIFA headquarters before a scheduled meeting of their finance committee.

At about the same time, Blatter's regular campaign column for a football website talked of bin Hammam's "public humiliation," and denied the allegations were timed to wreck his opponent's chances of taking over football's top job.

Blatter wrote that he was "shocked" by the corruption allegations against bin Hammam which shed "a very bad light on FIFA yet again," days before next week's scheduled presidential vote.

"It gives me no pleasure to see (bin Hammam) suffer public disgrace before an investigation would even have started," Blatter said in a column on the Inside World Football website.

Bin Hammam, the Asian Football Confederation president, and FIFA vice president Jack Warner face an ethics hearing in Zurich on Sunday over allegations stemming from the Qatari's May 10-11 campaign trip to Trinidad.

"I take no joy to see men who stood by my side for some two decades, suffer through public humiliation without having been convicted of any wrongdoing," Blatter said.

The ethics panel can effectively hand Blatter victory in next Wednesday's election by suspending bin Hammam from all football duty. The panel could rule that wrongdoing was proven, or they could provisionally bar bin Hammam if they request more time to study evidence compiled by a federal prosecutor from Chicago who works for Warner's CONCACAF regional body.

Though expressing sympathy for his longtime Qatari ally, Blatter said he admires American official Chuck Blazer's "civic courage" for reporting the alleged bribery to FIFA headquarters.

Blatter was indignant at suggestions he was part of a conspiracy to remove his election rival from the race.

"To now assume that the present ordeal of my opponent were to fill me with some sort of perverse satisfaction or that this entire matter was somehow masterminded by me is ludicrous and completely reprehensible," he said. "No sane person can take pleasure in this development, and no decent person will enjoy the troubles of others, be that friend or foe."

"I am shocked, saddened and deeply unhappy about the charges leveled against a man whose friendship I enjoyed for many years."

The two executive committee colleagues met briefly on Thursday, according to FIFA's senior vice president, Julio Grondona.

"They hugged in the room. There was no problem," the Argentine finance panel chairman said.

Blatter acknowledged that the latest scandal rocking FIFA - after years of allegations of financial wrongdoing, ticket scalping and vote buying - was a "storm of its own creation."

"What FIFA needs is ironclad laws that are implemented forcefully and allow world football's governing body to conduct its affairs transparently, properly and professionally in every respect," he said.

Blatter, who joined FIFA in 1975 and has been president for 13 years, is seeking a fourth and final four-year term from FIFA's 208 national members.

The 75-year-old Swiss pledged to "open the doors, reinforce dialogue, improve our corporate governance and handle our public affairs with the kind of priority it deserves and must deliver."

Read more on:    mohamed bin hammam
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Hodgson wary of Pirlo threat

2014-04-17 21:01

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
Vote

Which team do you think will win the English Premiership?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.