FIFA Confirm No Challengers to Blatter/Bin Hammam Candidacy

April 4, 2011

Soccer’s world governing body FIFA has confirmed that no new figurehead came forward to challenge Sepp Blatter and Mohamed Bin Hammam for the organisation’s Presidency before last night’s midnight deadline.

Current incumbent and Swiss national Blatter will therefore go head-to-head in a straight two-way contest for the post with long-time allay and Qatari president of the Asian Football Confederation, Bin Hammam in Zurich on June 1.

American journalist Grant Wahl had declared an interest in running for the presidency, dependant on a nomination from one of the game’s governing body. However, Wahl pulled out after failing to receive the nomination he needed, leaving the field clear for Blatter and his Asian challenger to fight it out.

FIFA said they would only announce the candidates formally on Monday, April 4″following a thorough verification process”, and have now done so. A statement released today read: The FIFA general secretariat received two candidatures for the FIFA Presidency by the statutory deadline (1 April 2011, midnight CET) in accordance with art. 24 par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes. The names of the candidates are: Joseph S. BLATTER (Switzerland) and Mohamed BIN HAMMAM (Qatar).”

The world governing body, which closed business for the weekend before the deadline, wanted to make 100 per cent sure that nothing had arrived by post or fax from any prospective contender that pre-dated the deadline.

Wahl, meanwhile, bemoaned the fact that he had been unable to secure sufficient backing having launched his campaign in protest at FIFA’s inner sanctum after a spate of recent corruption scandals.

Wahl wrote in his latest article for Sports Illustrated: “If FIFA were truly a representative democracy I’m convinced that not only would I have been nominated but I also would have beaten Blatter and Bin Hammam in a landslide on election day.”

Bin Hammam now has two months to convince FIFA’s membership that it is time for a change with his manifesto centred on transparency, whilst at the same time offering individual members a greater contribution of FIFA’s revenue than under Blatter.

Blatter could make his first post-deadline appearance at the SportAccord Congress in London, while the FIFA President is also scheduled to meet FA chairman David Bernstein privately at Wembley today in an effort to persuade England – still angry at their treatment during their disastrous 2018 World Cup ballot – to support him.