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.