FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam has rejected allegations the organisation is corrupt.FIFA’s executive was again thrown into the spotlight this week when former English Football Association chief Lord Triesman accused several members, including vice-president Jack Warner, of seeking bribes in exchange for votes in the World Cup bidding process.
President Sepp Blatter, who Bin Hammam is challenging in an election in June, has announced FIFA will launch an investigation into the claims, but Bin Hammam defended the organisation.
“I will happily and unreservedly restate that I firmly believe FIFA, as a decision-making body and as an organisation, is not corrupt,” Bin Hammam said.
“However it is impossible to deny that its reputation has been sullied beyond compare. It’s time for that to change.”
“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.”
Bin Hammam also criticised Blatter for donating funds to Interpol match-fixing investigations.
FIFA announced on Monday they would be donating 20 million euros in a 10-year commitment to assist the international police organisation in their efforts to fight match-fixing.
The move is apparently part of Blatter’s stated program of reform in FIFA as the Swiss 75-year-old seeks to retain the office he has held since 1998.
But his Qatari rival has rejected the move, with Bin Hammam describing the donation as ‘arbitrary.’
“Currently, the President has taken on too much of an Executive role, as evidenced by the recently announced initiative to donate 20 million dollars to Interpol. Imagine FIFA financing Interpol’s activities,” Bin Hammam said via Twitter.
“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?”