Qatari Bin Hammam challenges Sepp Blatter for Fifa presidency

Reuters, Wednesday 19 Jan 2011

Asian football chief Mohammed Bin Hammam has hinted again that he could challenge Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency later this year

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Qatari Bin Hammam, who has just begun a third and final four-year term as AFC president, continues to duck straight questions on whether he will run against Blatter in June, instead dropping hints of a possible election bid.

"The thought does interest me, yes," Bin Hammam told the Kyodo news agency when asked how he felt about running for FIFA president.

"The ambition is a legitimate one, and if people think they can add to the organization, then why not? "I am 62 years old. I have almost worked in football administration for 40 years. And one thing I learned about sport is that competition is very healthy for the organisations -- no matter what the result of the competition is, and elections are a form of competition."

Earlier this month, Bin Hammam smiled broadly and shrugged his shoulders when asked by Reuters if he would stand against Blatter, whom he has disagreed with on a number of issues.

Blatter is seeking a fourth term as the head of football's world governing body and was in Doha earlier this month to see one of his old adversaries Chung Mong-joon of South Korea lose his FIFA executive committee seat to the Swiss' ally Prince Ali of Jordan.

Blatter, who is so far the only candidate for the position, was also given a boost to his chances when another ally David Chung was appointed Oceania Football Confederation president at the weekend.

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