FA to abstain from Fifa presidency vote
Thursday, 19th May 2011 at 19:15pm
The Football Association - the game's governing body in England - has announced that it will abstain from voting in June's Fifa presidency election.
Current incumbent Sepp Blatter is aiming to secure a fourth term as the game's chief but his position as president is being challenged by Qatar's Mohammad Bin Hammam, the president of the Asian Football Federation.
But following allegations of corruption made against Fifa in recent weeks and months, the FA has decided not to vote on June 1.
In a statement, the FA said: "The FA board has today [Thursday] agreed to abstain in the vote of the presidency of Fifa.
"There are a well-reported range of issues both recent and current which, in the view of the FA board, make it difficult to support either candidate.
"The FA values its relationships with its international partners very highly. We are determined to play an active and influential role through our representation within both Uefa and Fifa.
"We will continue to work hard to bring about any changes we think would benefit all of international football."
Before the votes to decide the host nations for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, two members of Fifa's Executive Committee (ExCo) - Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii - were suspended amid allegations that they had offered to sell their votes.
Those allegations were followed up last week when Lord Triesman, former head of England's failed 2018 World Cup bid, accused four other members of the ExCo -Jack Warner, Ricardo Teixera, Nicolas Leoz and Worawi Mukadi - of asking for money and favours in return for their support.
Added to his accusations were Conservative MP Damien Collins' revealed claims by The Sunday Times newspaper that a further two members of ExCo - Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma - had received $1.5 million to vote for Qatar.
Fifa has launched an investigation into the claims with Blatter vowing to clean up his house but with as many as eight of the 24-man committee under a cloud of corruption, a large amount of damage has been done to Fifa's already tarnished reputation.
Blatter also revealed that Fifa is to interview a whistleblower concerning the allegations made about the Qatari bid.
"We have organised and the newspaper have agreed we will bring this whistleblower to Zurich and then we will have a discussion, an investigation," said Blatter.
When asked about the possibility of the decision being reversed if foul play is uncovered, Blatter replied: "This is an idea circulating already around the world which is alarming.
"Don't ask me yes or no, let us go step by step."