English FA abstains from FIFA vote

Board say it is 'difficult to support either candidate' following row over World Cup bids and corruption allegations.

    Prince William and British prime minister David Cameron were unable to swing the vote England's way [GALLO/GETTY]

    The English Football Association have announced they will abstain from the FIFA Presidential vote on June 1st.
     
    They have decided not to back either Sepp Blatter, who is looking for a fourth term as president, or his challenger Mohamed Bin Hammam.
     
    "The FA Board has today agreed to abstain in the vote for the Presidency of FIFA," the FA said in a statement on Thursday ahead of the June 1 vote.

    "There are a well-reported range of issues both recent and current which, in the view of The FA board, make it difficult to support either candidate.

    The FA were comprehensively beaten by Russia in the race to host the 2018 World Cup.

    After attracting only two votes, one of them its own, FA officials and bid representatives said that potential voters had lied to them and that the voting system was flawed.

    "The FA values its relationships with its international football partners extremely highly. We are determined to play an active and influential role through our representation within both UEFA and FIFA," the statement added.

    "We will continue to work hard to bring about any changes we think would benefit all of international football."

    Stained

    Former FA chairman David Triesman told a UK parliamentary inquiry last week that the 2018 bid process was stained by corruption.

    Blatter revealed on Al Jazeera afterwards that he wanted to receive evidence and settle the matter before the presidential vote.

    He said today of an the abstension: "It is a little bit strange when the number one association in the world have two candidates in front of them and cannot make a decision which one to support."

    The parliamentary inquiry also heard accusations that Qatar's successful bid to host the 2022 tournament, backed by Asia confederation president Bin Hammam, a Qatari, was also marred by corruption.

    Qatar has denied the allegations while the FA have appointed a barrister to lead an independent inquiry into Triesman's accusations.

    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, is also to hold an investigation.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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