May 12, 2011 | In: Articles

Presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam: Fifa is not corrupt, but things must change

Fifa presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam has written an open letter defending world football’s governing body from allegations it is corrupt.

His message, published on his official website, comes less than 24 hours after he denied the Qatar World Cup bid team paid Fifa Ex-co members for votes.

Bin Hammam, who is fighting current Fifa president Sepp Blatter for office in the June elections, feels Fifa is not corrupt, but said work needs to be done to change the current landscape.

His letter reads:

“It has become clear yet again in recent days that something urgently needs to be done to improve and enhance the image of Fifa; the name of our great sport and its leading institution have been dragged through the mud once more.

“I will happily and unreservedly restate that I firmly believe Fifa, as a decision-making body and as an organisation, is not corrupt.

“Much wonderful work is done by Fifa and to label the entire organisation 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.

“Football is a force for good and Fifa is at the vanguard of making positive changes across the world. I have seen it first hand in my involvement in initiatives such as the Goal Project, which has boosted communities in some of the poorest, most underprivileged nations.”

It is a pledge for change, as he suggested it’s time for Blatter to step aside.

“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.

“Currently, the president has taken on too much of an executive role, as evidenced by the recently announced initiative to donate €20 million to Interpol. Imagine Fifa financing Interpol’s activities!

“This decision was taken arbitrarily by the Fifa president and was not discussed with 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.

“How on earth can we convince people of Fifa’s innocence?

“A new atmosphere needs to descend upon Fifa; there needs to be an opportunity for new ideas to take hold and for the organisation to take a new direction.”

The presidential elections take place on June 1.

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