Bin Hammam accuses Blatter over FIFA's reputation

Bin Hammam accuses Blatter over FIFA's reputation

Published May. 12, 2011 12:30 p.m. ET

Mohamed bin Hammam blamed FIFA presidential rival Sepp Blatter on Thursday for letting the governing body's reputation become ''sullied beyond compare.''

Bin Hammam, who is challenging Blatter in FIFA's presidential election on June 1, responded to the deepening corruption scandal surrounding the World Cup bidding contests on his blog.

''I firmly believe FIFA, as a decision-making body and as an organisation, is not corrupt,'' the 61-year-old Qatari wrote. ''However, under the current status quo it is impossible to deny that the governing body's reputation has been sullied beyond compare and it is time for that to change.''

Bin Hammam added that ''something urgently needs to be done to improve and enhance the image of FIFA'' in light of allegations that six FIFA executive committee members were involved in bribery during the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests.


Bin Hammam was instrumental in delivering the 2022 tournament to Qatar and has dismissed suggestions that there was any wrongdoing in connection with the bid.

''Much wonderful work is done by FIFA and to label the entire organization corrupt would be to tarnish the efforts of all those who operate tirelessly to bring all that is positively associated with our sport to people all over the globe,'' he wrote.

Bin Hammam also criticized Blatter for spending FIFA's money ''arbitrarily'' by donating ?20 million ($29 million) to Interpol to tackle match-fixing and betting fraud, without consulting the executive committee.

''It is just another example of the current regime choosing to run football how it sees fit, rather than doing so in a manner that is consistent with the governing body's proper procedures,'' he wrote.

''Imagine FIFA financing Interpol's activities!''

Since he announced plans to run for the presidency, Bin Hammam has repeatedly criticized Blatter for remaining in the post too long, which he has suggested fueled perception that FIFA was corrupt. Blatter has been president since 1998.

Blatter has made fighting corruption a central campaign theme to his campaign. He has pledged to resolve the current crisis before the June 1 election.