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Bin Hammam withdraws FIFA presidency bid

05-29-2011 13:22 BJT

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The president of the Asian Football Confederation and only challenger to the incumbent FIFA president, Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar has withdrawn his candidacy only hours before he's expected to front an Ethics Committee hearing into corruption allegations.

It leaves reigning FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, as the only candidate for the position although the 73 year old is also due to face the Ethics Committee later today.

Bin Hammam's statement says, "It saddens me that standing up for the causes that I believed in has come at a great price -- the degradation of FIFA's reputation. This is not what I had in mind for FIFA and this is unacceptable,".

"I cannot allow the name that I loved to be dragged more and more in the mud because of competition between two individuals.

"The game itself and the people who love it around the world must come first.

"It is for this reason that I announce my withdrawal from the presidential election."

The 62 year old was due to stand against incumbent president Sepp Blatter in Wednesday's election at FIFA's Congress in Zurich.

The FIFA crisis has continued to gather momentum since questions were raised over the ligitimacy of the votes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids last month and this latest round focuses on Bin Hammam paying for Carribean members to attend a summit where he presented his candidacy for the presidency after being denied a visa to the US to attend a FIFA congress where Sepp Blatter was able to presented his candidacy unchallenged.

FIFA executive Committee member Chuck Blazer, of the US, reported possible violations of the FIFA code of ethics including possible bribery.

Bin Hammam's counter claim is that Blatter knew of his plans and had no issue with it. This latest turn may have ramifications for the 2022 World Cup bid won by Qatar in which Bin Hammam was a key lobbyist.



Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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