Bin Hammam Claims Candidacy Won’t Divide ‘Football’s Family’

March 21, 2011

Having announced his candidacy for the FIFA presidential elections on Friday, March 18, Mohamed Bin Hammam has rejected claims that his could create a schism within world soccer’s governing body.

The Qatari national, head of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), confirmed long-running speculation that he would run against Sepp Blatter for FIFA’s top job after their formerly strong allegiances became strained.

Franz Beckenbauer, who is soon to step down as a member of the FIFA Executive Committee, has expressed his fear that the June 1 election could create a “dangerous situation” which could “split FIFA into two camps”.

Bin Hammam’s candidacy includes proposals that the 24-man Executive Committee should be replaced by a 41-member board, that a new transparency committee be established and FIFA’s income should be spread more evenly across the globe.

The AFC chief outlined his belief that the presidential battle will not lead to divisions within FIFA, stating: “I am a huge fan of Franz Beckenbauer. He is a football legend, one of my favourite people in life. But why should FIFA split if two candidates are running for the presidency?

“I always respect my competitors. President Blatter is a colleague and friend. I won’t create or encourage any environment that will divide the football family.”