Mohamed Bin Hammam Withdraws From Fifa Presidential Election

Sepp Blatter is the only candidate left after bribery furore.

Mohamed bin Hammam has withdrawn from the Fifa presidential election after being accused of bribery.

The Asian Football Confederation president has vowed to clear his name but his withdrawal has left the current incumbent Sepp Blatter as the only candidate.

Both men have been called to a Fifa ethics inquiry to answer accusations of corruption along with Fifa vice-president Jack Warner.

Bin Hammam had campaigned for the presidency on a promise to make Fifa more transparent but there now looks to be no need for a vote following his decision to withdraw.

The Qatari says he is sad to have brought so much negativity to Fifa and will clear his name.

“I pray that my withdrawal will not be tied to the investigation held by the Fifa Ethics Committee as I will appear before the Ethics Committee to clear my name from the baseless allegations that have been made against me.

“I promise those who stood by me that I will walk with my head held high and will continue to fight for the good of the game.

“I would like to offer my thanks and appreciation to all Member Associations and individuals who supported me. I hope that they will not receive my decision with disappointment and frustration.

“I have a special thank you to my friend and colleague Jack Warner for his unlimited support. I am sorry to see that he has to suffer because of me, but I am promising him that I will be with him all the way through thick and thin.

“I look forward to working closely with my colleagues to restore Fifa’s reputation to what it should be – a protector of the game that has credibility through honesty, transparency and accountability.

“I made the decision to run for the Fifa presidency because I was and remain committed to change within Fifa.

“I set out my goals and ambitions clearly – to further the cause of democracy within Fifa – through a commitment to transparency and accountability; through a commitment to expand the number of officials and nations involved in decision-making processes.

“In addition to this, I wanted to spark a debate about change in Fifa. For the good of football, I wanted the future to be bright for our world’s governing body and for it to adapt to the ever-changing world we live in today.

“However, recent events have left me hurt and disappointed – on a professional and personal level.

“This is not what I had in mind for Fifa and this is unacceptable,” he added.

“I cannot allow the name that I loved to be dragged more and more in the mud because of competition between two individuals.

“The game itself and the people who love it around the world must come first.

“It is for this reason that I announce my withdrawal from the presidential election. I will not put my personal ambition ahead of Fifa’s dignity and integrity.

“Besides, I believe my candidacy has been a catalyst for debate within Fifa and has brought change to the top of the agenda.

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