Blatter not worried about Bin Hammam threat

AFP, Friday 7 Jan 2011

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Friday he was not concerned about the possibility of Asian football chief Mohamad bin Hammam running against him, suggesting the Qatari did not have the support

Blatter & Bin Hammam
Who will be the FIFA president?

The ageing Swiss, 74, announced last year that he will seek re-election as president for another four-year term at the world governing body's congress in June, saying his job was not yet complete.  

Noone has officially said they will run against him, although Bin Hammam has dropped hints, hedging his bets when asked about his plans on Thursday.

"I will not state whether I will run or not," said the 61-year-old, seen as a moderniser.

Blatter said he was not worried.

"If he wants to run it is open," he said when asked by AFP in the Qatari capital Doha.

"The elections in FIFA will be decided on June 1 and candidates must be presented two months before the election, so April 1.

"I don't know of other candidates but I have already declared my candidature and I have received a lot of support from all confederations during meetings in 2010.

"I have received full support, with the exception of Asia, where I have never received full support in their congress assembly.

"But in all other continents they have given their support to me."

Another man considered to have presidency ambitions was powerful South Korean Chung Mong-Joon, but he was unseated 25-20 by Jordan's Prince Ali bin Al Hussein as a FIFA vice-president at the AFC Congress on Thursday.

The loss rules him out of contention.

The prince is a Blatter ally and Arab officials said afterwards that all his 25 votes would go to the Swiss at the FIFA elections.

Bin Hammam backed Chung, and Blatter said it showed that the Qatari did not even have majority support in his own confederation.

"You don't need to be a mathamatician, when President Mohamad said yesterday that he supported Dr Chung," said Blatter.

"If he supported him and he lost, then it shows he doesn't have a majority in his Congress. Deduct from that what you will."

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