Bin Hammam criticizes English FA over FIFA vote

FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam urged the English
Football Association on Tuesday to reconsider its decision to
abstain from the election, saying it is ”forfeiting” its right to
improve the sport.

Bin Hammam, who is the lone challenger to FIFA President Sepp
Blatter in the June 1 election, wrote on his website that he
respects the FA’s position but is disappointed that a national
association has decided ”not to try to affect change from the
inside.”

”The FA, with its status as the oldest association in the world
and England’s position as the birthplace of the modern game, is one
of the most important institutions in world football,” he wrote.
”As a result, they should be working with FIFA and the rest of the
global game to improve and enhance football. By choosing to
abstain, the FA is, sadly, forfeiting that right.”

The FA announced last week that it wouldn’t vote for Blatter or
bin Hammam. Both men have been tainted by a corruption scandal
involving bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Six members of FIFA’s executive committee have been accused of
receiving or demanded bribes during bidding for the 2018 and 2022
World Cups. Bin Hammam helped deliver the 2022 World Cup to Qatar,
which is alleged to have paid two FIFA executives $1.5 million
each.

The allegations came from evidence the Sunday Times submitted to
a British parliamentary inquiry. Blatter has announced FIFA will
investigate the claims and that a former bid employee who was a
source for some of the allegations would be interviewed
Wednesday.

The Qatar Football Association on Monday welcomed an
investigation into allegations of corruption but insisted that the
evidence presented so far was false and unsubstantiated. It said
the whistleblower is probably a former employee ”with a
significant axe to grind.”

In its one-page letter released to the media, Qatar offered no
fresh evidence to refute the claims, but attempted to cast doubt on
the Sunday Times allegations, suggesting the methods it used to
build the case calls into question the ”credibility of the
reporters, their motivations and extent to which … the evidence
in any way can be relied upon.”

Blatter, meanwhile, has declined an invitation to testify about
World Cup bidding before a British Parliamentary committee. FIFA
informed the Culture, Media and Sport Committee that it is focusing
on its own investigation.