Bin Hammam: ‘Bribery allegations are a tactic’

Mohamed Bin Hammam dismisses allegations of offering bribes for votes as an attempt to discredit him.

Mohamed Bin Hammam has dismissed today’s allegations of bribery as an attempt to discredit him ahead of next week’s election.

The FIFA presidential candidate, along with vice-president Jack Warner and two members of the Caribbean Football Union, is the subject of claims made by executive committee member Chuck Blazer.

Blazer alleges that FIFA’s code of ethics was violated in a meeting with the CFU during Bin Hammam’s recent visit to Trinidad.

A statement from FIFA said that Blazer’s report “referred to a special meeting of the Caribbean Football Union, apparently organised jointly by FIFA vice-president Jack A. Warner and FIFA executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam, which took place on May 10 and 11, 2011.

“This meeting was linked to the upcoming FIFA presidential election. In view of the facts alleged in this report, which include bribery allegations... the FIFA Ethics Committee [has opened] ethics proceedings.”

Hammam has denied “any allegations of wrongdoing” and claimed that Blazer’s report is a “tactic” to disrupt his chances of beating current president Sepp Blatter.

“This has been a difficult and painful day for me,” reads a statement on his website. “But, if there is even the slightest justice in the world, these allegations will vanish in the wind. This move is little more than a tactic being used by those who have no confidence in their own ability to emerge successfully from the FIFA presidential election.

“I will speak to Mr Warner on this subject and offer him my full support in ensuring we are discharged honourably by the FIFA Ethics Committee, a body which I hold in the highest regard.

“I am confident that there is no charge to answer and that I will be free to stand in the FIFA Presidential election on June 1 as originally planned.”

The hearing will take place in Zurich on May 29.

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