I have an even chance to unseat Blatter: Hammam

Updated: Apr 14, 2011, 17:31 PM IST

New Delhi: Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohamad Bin Hammam said Thursday that he has an even chance to unseat FIFA president Sepp Blatter and appealed to Asia to rally behind him in the June 1 election.

Hammam, who is a FIFA executive committee member, is competing for the first time to end Blatter`s 13-year reign over world football.

"I`m hoping that this attempt is going to be an Asian project, being for all of Asia. I`m representing all of you and this continent. I seek your support and I wish every one of you pray that Asia will succeed in giving a FIFA president this time," Bin Hammam told reporters during a South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) seminar.

Bin Hammam gave himself 50 percent chance to remove the 75-year-old Swiss.

"I have 50 percent chance and I hope my support grows. It`s not about competing against one who has been in the seat for so long. The idea is, a lot of people are looking forward to changes and are looking forward to new ideas. With their support, the number can grow further."

Bin Hammam has assured himself support from South Asian Football Federtion (SAFF) and All India Football Federation (AIFF).

"I enjoy a very good relationship with the AIFF and Praful Patel (AIFF president) is like a brother. I see India as a supporter of my efforts."

Bin Hammam, who has always been critical of tardy progress of football in India, said there was noticeble change since his 2006 visit along with Blatter.

"You can see how much interest there is to promote football in India. The growth is very much noticeable in India and also China," he said.

Bin Hammam also said that AFC was committed to develop football in the world`s two most populous nations.

"I`m the president of a confederation which comprise two-thirds of the world population and two-thirds of these people are living in two countries -- India and China. We are going to strengthen our efforts in these two countries because developing football in India and China means developing the game in two-thirds of Asia," he said.