Breaking News: Bin Hammam to Challenge Blatter for FIFA Presidency
In what could be the end of Sepp Blatter’s helm at FIFA, Asian Football Confederation President, Mohamed Bin Hammam, today announced during a news conference streamed online live from the confederation’s Kuala Lumpur headquarters that he will run for the Presidential post of FIFA later this year.
“Today after careful study, consultation and consideration, armed with my love and passion of our football, believing that our game is about fair competition, I have decided to contest the upcoming FIFA presidential elections scheduled in June 2011,” announced Bin Hammam.
The Qatari who played a pivotal role in winning Qatar the right to host 2022 FIFA World Cup then spoke about the changes he will bring about in FIFA if elected.
He spoke about closing the economic gap between underprivileged member association and advanced football nations through fair distribution of World Cup revenues and pledge full support for the underprivileged nations.
“I will always have in mind the diversities and different views of different stakeholders,” says the 61 year old.
If elected he also has a plan to increase the number of members on the FIFA Executive Committee to 40, with extra members for associations such as the AFC and Oceania. He will rename the committee the “FIFA Board” with the FIFA President as the Chairman and the President of six Confederations as the executive members.
He then announced about his plan to decentralize the activities of the FIFA administration, giving more responsibilities to the confederations.
“The efficiency of FIFA is in doubt in so many areas, especially when it comes to technical and legal matters. It is imporatnt that FIFA delegates some of its activities in these areas to the confederations. The confederations are an integral part of the football organization and a very important part” said the AFC President.
He then announced to the waiting media about setting up a “Transparency Committee” within FIFA.
He then followed up with his proposed plan to increase the financial distribution to associations from $250,000 to $500,000, whilst also increasing the funding for FIFA’s individual Goal projects.
Ending his list of plans by not speaking about technology, he however made it clear that he will support goal-line technology and an additional two assistants behind the goals, as has been proposed by UEFA president Michel Platini.
With this announcement Sepp Blater will now face a contested election for the first time since 2002, when he defeated Issa Hayatou, of Cameroon, in the face of opposition from Europe and within Fifa’s executive committee. He was re-elected by acclamation in 2007.