Bin Hammam to run for FIFA presidency

AFC chief Mohamed Bin Hammam launched his bid to unseat FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Kuala Lumpur: AFC chief Mohamed Bin Hammam on Friday launched his bid to unseat Sepp Blatter as head of global soccer with a campaign built on transparency and technology.

The 61-year-old Qatari ended weeks of speculation about a possible bid to become FIFA president by informing reporters of his decision at Asian Football Confederation (AFC) headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

He rated his chances of success as "50-50."

"After careful consideration I have decided to stand in the FIFA presidential elections on June 1 at the FIFA congress," he said. "The AFC executive committee have encouraged me.

"Change is necessary and needed in FIFA. I have the wish and will to serve FIFA -- I have always declared that competition is good."

Blatter, 75, who is seeking a fourth term as the head of FIFA, and Bin Hammam will stand in an election at the two-day FIFA Congress in Zurich starting on May 31.

Bin Hammam, who was sworn in unopposed for a third and final four-year term as AFC head in January, is hoping to become the ninth president of FIFA and the first from Asia.

The Qatari said much of FIFA`s administration was too bureaucratic and promised to decentralise it if voted in, adding that he would also expand the executive committee to give more people more say in decision making.

Bin Hammam, who played an influential role in securing the 2022 World Cup for Qatar, also made clear he would support the introduction of goal line technology if his bid for the top job was successful and said he would be in favour of introducing two more officials behind the goals.

Bureau Report