Bin Hammam vows to restore FIFA

by AFP on May 23, 2011

0 comments | | print

FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam has vowed to "restore pride" in football's world governing body amid fresh corruption claims before next month's leadership vote.

"Time for a fresh approach," Asia's football chief tweeted in capital letters, before adding: "Time to restore pride in FIFA" just a minute later.

FIFA has been beset by allegations of corruption in the run-up to the June 1 election, when Bin Hammam will challenge former ally Sepp Blatter, who is seeking a fourth and final four-year term.

On Sunday, the BBC's Panorama investigative program aired a report claiming FIFA is trying to block the release of a document that reveals the identity of two officials forced to repay bribes.

The settlement relates to alleged bribes paid to senior FIFA officials in the 1990s by sports marketing company International Sports and Leisure (ISL), Panorama reported.

Earlier this month Britain's Lord David Triesman, chairman of the country's defeated bid to host the 2018 World Cup, told a parliamentary inquiry that senior FIFA officials demanded cash and honours in return for their votes.

While Blatter dismissed British claims as a case of sour grapes after their failed World Cup bid, Qatar's Bin Hammam said FIFA had been "sullied beyond compare" under the Swiss.

However, the Asian Football Confederation president has also been forced to deny allegations aired in the British parliamentary inquiry that his home country paid large bribes to secure hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup.