FA won't back Blatter or his rival

19 May 2011 04:58
The Football Association will abstain in next month's Fifa presidential election in protest against allegations of corruption aimed at both candidates. Sepp Blatter, the current president, is challenged by Qatari Mohamed Bin Hammam. Bin Hammam's candidacy has been tarnished by fresh claims in Parliament last week that two Fifa members were paid US$1.5million to vote for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup finals. Although Bin Hammam had no official role in the Qatar bid, he was a high-profile supporter and campaigned on its  behalf. FA chairman David Bernstein said: "There are a well-reported range of issues both recent and current which, in the view of The FA board, make it difficult to support either candidate. "The FA values its relationships with its international football partners extremely highly. We are determined to play an active and influential role through our representation within both Uefa and Fifa. "We will continue to work hard to bring about any changes we think would benefit all of international football." Blatter queried the decision, saying: “It is a bit strange when the number one association in the world - which is the FA - have two candidates to choose from and they cannot make a decision which one they support. It's strange.” Bernstein met both Bin Hammam and Blatter last month to discuss their candidacies.  Blatter added: “I explained to Mr Bernstein the part the FA has played in the world of football, especially in the development of modern football and the laws of the game. “This is also about the privileges of the four British associations given in 1946 - four individual votes, one vice-president, half the international FA board. “They have a lot of prerogatives and rights but with these come responsibility. He asked me what Fifa could do for England. I said, ‘I will turn around the question and ask what can you do for football?You do a lot for the development of football and especially with the wonderful, effective and efficient Premier League they should ask what can they do for Fifa?'. “I am sure he got the message, he understood exactly what I said, he is on the right way but I am not sure if the whole board is on the same way.”


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