Fifa deny asking bin Hammam to withdraw
Tuesday, 24th May 2011 at 14:00pm
Fifa's secretary general Jrme Valcke has been forced to deny allegations that he attempted to persuade Fifa presidential candidate Mohammad bin Hammam to withdraw from the upcoming election on June 1.
On Monday, German broadcasters claimed that Valcke - the man assigned to oversee the election - tried to persuade the Qatari to quit as football's governing body now faces another series of potentially damaging corruption allegations.
"Contrary to some media allegations I want to make it very clear that neither I nor anyone else at Fifa have asked Mr Mohammed bin Hammam at any point to withdraw his candidature for the upcoming Fifa presidency election," said Valcke, whose position as secretary general is believed to be under threat should bin Hammam win the June 1 vote.
That is unlikely, however, as Blatter looks set to win a record fourth term as head of world football's governing body.
That will take the 75-year-old up to 2015 at which point he has said he will retire from the post.
If elected as expected, Blatter has made a promise to clean up Fifa's reputation which has taken a battering in recent months.
"We shall find a solution how to handle the past ... in order that we can stop forever in the future all these damaging things about corruption," Blatter said.
"We have to make sure that in the next term of office immediately starting after the election that we rebuild the image of Fifa."
Currently, eight members of the Fifa Executive Committee are under investigation or have been suspended amid allegations of corruption.