April 19, 2019

Bin Hammam pulls out of FIFA president race

I must confess to you that I am in love with FIFA. So much in love that I will let Sepp keep on running it.

Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar has withdrawn his candidacy for the FIFA president’s role leaving the way open for Sepp Blatter to be re-elected unopposed.

Bin Hamman’s decision comes only one day before he is to appear before a FIFA Ethics Committee hearing into bribery allegations.

The 62 year-old president of the Asian Football Confederation, was due to go head-to-head against incumbent Sepp Blatter for the top job at FIFA’s Congress in Zurich on Wednesday.

In his statement, Bin Hammam said: “I made the decision to run for the FIFA presidency because I was and remain committed to change within FIFA.”

“I set out my goals and ambitions clearly – to further the cause of democracy within FIFA – through a commitment to transparency and accountability; through a commitment to expand the number of officials and nations involved in decision-making processes.”

“In addition to this, I wanted to spark a debate about change in FIFA. For the good of football, I wanted the future to be bright for our world’s governing body and for it to adapt to the ever-changing world we live in today.

“However, recent events have left me hurt and disappointed – on a professional and personal level.”

“It saddens me that standing up for the causes that I believed in has come at a great price – the degradation of FIFA’s reputation. This is not what I had in mind for FIFA and this is unacceptable.”

“I cannot allow the name that I loved to be dragged more and more in the mud because of competition between two individuals.”

“The game itself and the people who love it around the world must come first.”

“It is for this reason that I announce my withdrawal from the presidential election.”

Nothing about FIFA is ever quite as it seems. Just why Bin Hammam would pull out only two days before the vote is bizarre. Surely any damage to FIFA’s reputation has already been done during the bitter presidential campaign.

We are probably never destined to learn the truth. I guess we just have to go on accepting that there is so much money in football that it is inevitable that people motivated by greed, lust for power and of course the desire to be rich, are going to be attracted to FIFA’s top echelon’s.