x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Bin Hammam accuses of Blatter of changing his views

Many of the ideas now being floated by Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, may "not have seen the light of day" if he wasn't fighting to win re-election, according to rival candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam.

Many of the ideas now being floated by Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, may "not have seen the light of day" if he wasn't fighting to win re-election, according to rival candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam.

Bin Hammam, the Asian Football Confederation president, is the only candidate facing Blatter in the presidential election to be held on June 1.

On his blog yesterday, the 61-year-old Qatari welcomed Blatter's ideas to reform the organisation he has run since 1998 as long overdue.

"To ensure we are not left behind by an ever-changing world, we have to be sure to think at least one step ahead. In recent times, that has not been the case at Fifa," Bin Hammam wrote.

"But now, at last, Mr. Blatter is coming out with fresh suggestions about how to run the game's governing body that might not have seen the light of day had there not been a challenge to his leadership."

But Bin Hammam suggested many of Blatter's ideas contradicted his earlier positions and only were introduced after he realised he would have to win re-election. He said Blatter once said Fifa budgets were fixed but now was offering to provide additional assistance for development.

"It seems my challenge has made Mr Blatter reassess his view of football's future," Bin Hammam said.

"Competition is healthy and it is vital to the continual development and progress of the sport that we all hold so close to our hearts."

Blatter's campaign is based on ensuring stability in the organisation, tackling corruption and spreading money among Fifa members for development projects over the next four years.