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Bin Hammam urges English FA rethink
FIFA presidential candidate urges English Football Association to reconsider abstention from vote.
Last Modified: 24 May 2011 10:48
Former FA Chairman David Triesman, centre, alleged corruption charges against four FIFA executive committee members in the wake of England's failed 2018 World Cup bid [GALLO/GETTY]

FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam has urged the English Football Association (FA) to reconsider their abstention from the upcoming FIFA elections.

Saying that he was 'disappointed' by the FA's decision last week, Bin Hammam criticised the body for 'forfeiting their right' to be involved with FIFA policy making.

"…It always disappointing when someone opts not to engage with the rest, when one of our national associations takes the decision not to try to affect change from the inside," Bin Hammam said on his personal website.

"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.

"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."

On the fence

The June 1 election pits Asian Football Confederation boss Bin Hammam against incumbent Sepp Blatter.

Both candidates have been busy networking and attempting to secure football federation bloc votes, but the English FA last week announced they would abstain from the vote.

Bin Hammam expressed his dissatisfaction with the decision:

"I realise they [the FA] have their reasons for making their decision but I hope in the days leading up to the election that they will reconsider their position and make moves to engage fully with global football family ..."

Mohamed Bin Hammam

"I realise they have their reasons for making their decision but I hope in the days leading up to the election that they will reconsider their position and make moves to engage fully with the global football family, both on June 1 and beyond," he said.

The FA decision comes days over former chairman David Triesman told a UK parliamentary inquiry the World Cup bid process was blighted by corruption.

The English 2018 World Cup bid failed to secure support in the voting rounds, drawing only two votes, leading to complaints from bid officials that the voting system was flawed and that FIFA executive committee members had lied to them. Russia won the hosting rights.

The parliamentary inquiry also heard that Qatar's successful bid to host the 2022 tournament, backed by Bin Hammam, a Qatari, was also marred by allegations of wrongdoing.

FIFA, who suspended two executive committee members from voting on the 2018 and 2022 World Cups following earlier allegations that they had offered to sell their votes, has said it will investigate the allegations.

Qatar denied all the allegations against them on Monday .

'Fresh blood'

Bin Hammam, who has been touring the world canvassing support to become FIFA's first Asian president, has previously said the governing body's reputation had been sullied by the allegations, but denied it was corrupt.

In his bid to become only the fourth FIFA president in half a century, Mohamed Bin Hammam called for "fresh blood" in an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera earlier this year, saying that FIFA president Sepp Blatter was no longer able to defend the organisation.

"There is a growing appreciation, too, that FIFA needs to be more inclusive. We have to set our sights on working not only with the various associations and confederations but with all those who have the love of our great game at heart," he said.

"Many within these groups feel as if they have been pushed to the margins but, should my candidacy prove successful, then that is a trend I will work hard to reverse."

Source:
Agencies
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