Bin Hammam withdraws from Fifa presidency race
Monday, 30th May 2011 at 16:30pm
Asian Football Federation (AFF) President Mohammad bin Hammam has withdrawn from the race to become Fifa president, leaving current incumbent Sepp Blatter unchallenged in his bid to secure a fourth successive term in office.
The 62-year-old Qatari withdrew his candidacy after allegations of corruption made by fellow Fifa Executive Committee member Chuck Blazer of the United States last week.
Bin Hammam was accused of seeking to bribe presidential voters on a campaign visit to the Caribbean ahead of the election which is still scheduled to take place on Wednesday, June 1.
Blatter will win the election unless two thirds of the Fifa members vote to change the system but the storm that threatens to engulf Fifa may change the situation.
In a statement on his personal website, bin Hammam said, "Recent events have left me hurt and disappointed - on a professional and personal level."
"It is for this reason that I announce my withdrawal from the presidential election," he added.
Just hours after the surprise announcement, Hammam and Fifa Vice President Jack Warner were provisionally suspended by Fifa's ethics committee which had met to discuss recent accusations levelled against five Fifa officials including Blatter.
Blatter, who has occupied the presidency for the past 13 years, was found to have no case to answer for but two other Caribbean Football Union (CFU) officials - Jason Sylvester and Debbie Minguell - have been suspended along with Warner and bin Hammam.
Football's governing body will now open up a full investigation into the allegations that bribes were offered to CFU members.
Fifa are maintaining that the four members are innocent until proven guilty but should any of the foursome be found guilty of wrongdoing, they could be expelled from the organisation and banned from any football-related activity.
The alleged bribery was thought to have taken place during a meeting of the CFU in Trinidad on May 10 and 11.
A file of evidence submitted to the committee claims that piles of cash worth up to B1.25 million were handed over.
The bribes were allegedly given to secure votes for bin Hammam in his battle against Blatter.