Bin Hammam Says he is ‘Well Placed’ and Denies Buying Votes

April 29, 2011

FIFA Presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam, challenger to current incumbent Sepp Blatter, believes he is “well placed” in the contest and has denied he is trying to buy votes by offering increased financial help for the 208 national associations.

Bin Hammam, in London to meet leaders of the Football Association ahead of the election at Congress in Zurich on June 1, said he has been encouraged by promises of support. The FA will decide at its board meeting on May 19 whom to support; many senior figures favour Bin Hammam, largely because they are against the notion of Blatter reigning over a fourth term.

The 61-year-old Qatari promised to double FIFA’s annual financial support to each member association to US$500,000, prompting Blatter to respond with an overall development pledge of $1bn over the next four years.

Bin Hammam said: “I have had a lot of support since declaring my manifesto and I think I am well placed. I said when I announced my candidacy that my chances were 50-50 and although I would not change that figure I am feeling confident.”

He denied that his promises were disguised financial incentives, saying: “People want to hear what the candidate is going to help them with. The need for the funds is essential for national associations – they need to have development projects, national teams, youth teams, facilities and it all costs money. This is not an improper act – people should know what I’m planning.”