Fifa begins inquiry into candidate bin Hammam
Wednesday, 25th May 2011 at 17:32pm
Fifa presidential candidate Mohammad bin Hammam and Fifa Vice President Jack Warner are two of four Fifa officials under investigation after more allegations of corruption were levelled at members of football's governing body.
The allegations in question were made by Fifa Executive Committee member Chuck Blazer of the United States.
The American claims that Fifa's code of ethics was ignored by the four members at a meeting that was "apparently orgainsed" by the two high profile officials.
Qatari bin Hammam, 62, has vehemently denied the allegations, adding that he was "confident that there is no charge to answer".
In a statement published on his website, bin Hammam continued: "This has been a difficult and painful day for me today.
"But, if there is even the slightest justice in the world, these allegations will vanish in the wind. This move is little more than a tactic being used by those who have no confidence in their own ability to emerge successfully from the Fifa presidential election.
"I remain deeply indebted to Mr Warner for his sense of fair play because without his support and understanding I would not have been able to meet with several important Member Associations of Fifa to discuss my election manifesto.
"Here I completely deny any allegations of wrongdoing either intentionally or unknowingly while I was in the Caribbean.
"I will offer Mr Warner my full support in ensuring we are discharged honourably by the Fifa Ethics Committee, a body which I hold in the highest esteem.
"I am confident that there is no charge to answer and that I will be free to stand in the Fifa presidential election on 1 June as originally planned."
The other two officials named in Mr Blazer's allegations are the Caribbean Football Union's Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester.
All four have been asked to appear before a Fifa ethics committee meeting on May 29.
Bin Hammam is challenging Sepp Blatter for the Fifa presidency on June 1 but it is thought that the current will win the vote quite easily.
Blatter has promised to clean up Fifa's act and these latest allegations of bribery and corruption are another nail in the coffin for Fifa's reputation.
Fifa has already promised to investigate Warner after he was implicated by Lord Triesman in a parliamentary session in London.
These fresh allegations from Blazer take the total number of Fifa members under investigation for or suspended due to corruption to 11.