Mohamed Bin Hammam urges FA U-turn on Fifa vote

Mohamed Bin Hammam
Bin Hammam wants to take over the Fifa presidency from Sepp Blatter

Candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam wants the Football Association to reconsider its decision to abstain from the Fifa presidential vote.

The FA chose not to participate on 1 June because of recent allegations of corruption against Fifa.

But Bin Hammam, who is up against incumbent president Sepp Blatter, said he was surprised by the decision.

"It's disappointing when an association decides not to try to affect change from the inside," he stated.

"The FA, with its status as the oldest association in the world and England's position as the birthplace of the modern game, is one of the most important institutions in world football.

"As a result, they should be working with Fifa and the rest of the global game to improve and enhance football. By choosing to abstain, the FA is, sadly, forfeiting that right.

"I realise they have their reasons for making their decision but I hope in the days leading up to the election that they will reconsider their position and make moves to engage fully with the global football family, both on 1 June and beyond."

The FA's decision to abstain was provoked by the failure of their 2018 World Cup bid, which drew only two votes, with Russia winning the hosting rights.

Bid officials complained that the voting system was flawed and that Fifa executive committee members had misled them.

The FA has launched an inquiry into the corruption allegations.

In addition, Qatar 2022 World Cup officials have rejected claims they paid money in return for votes.

Qatar officials criticised the Sunday Times for failing to provide details of the alleged bribes it claims were offered to Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma.

World football's governing body 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, has said it will investigate.

Qatar released a statement on Monday denying all the allegations against them.

Bin Hammam, from Qatar, who has been touring the world canvassing support to become Fifa's first Asian president, previously said the governing body's reputation had been sullied by the allegations, but denied it was corrupt.

The 62-year-old has pledged to make Fifa a more transparent organisation.

"There is a growing appreciation, too, that Fifa needs to be more inclusive," he added.

"We have to set our sights on working not only with the various associations and confederations but with all those who have the love of our great game at heart.

"Many within these groups feel as if they have been pushed to the margins but, should my candidacy prove successful, then that is a trend I will work hard to reverse."

Meanwhile, Fifa president Sepp Blatter has declined an invitation to give evidence regarding allegations of corruption during the World Cup bidding process to a Parliamentary committee.

Blatter has informed MPs on the culture, media and sport committee that football's governing body is focusing on their own investigation into the claims.

"Fifa has immediately asked both the Football Association and the Sunday Times for a report on this matter," said a Fifa spokesman.