Football: Bin Hammam pulls out of FIFA leadership race (29 May 2011)
Football: Bin Hammam pulls out of FIFA leadership race Posted: 29 May 2011 0913 hrs PARIS: Mohamed bin Hammam pulled out of the race to oust FIFA president Sepp Blatter Sunday, just hours before facing the ethics committee of football's world governing body over bribery allegations. Bin Hammam, 61, who launched his campaign on an anti-corruption platform and had waged a bitter war of words with the long-serving Blatter, said on his blog that he was withdrawing for the sake of FIFA's reputation. "I made the decision to run for the FIFA presidency because I was and remain committed to change within FIFA," he said. "However, recent events have left me hurt and disappointed -- on a professional and personal level," bin Hammam, currently the head of the Asian Football Confederation, added. "It saddens me that standing up for the causes that I believed in has come at a great price -- the degradation of FIFA's reputation. This is not what I had in mind for FIFA and this is unacceptable." "It is for this reason that I announce my withdrawal from the presidential election," he said. The Qatari official added that he did not want his decision to be linked to the investigation by the FIFA ethics committee and vowed he would appear before the committee to clear his name of the "baseless allegations" against him. Bin Hammam's statement was the latest dramatic twist in the battle for the top job in football, during which he himself made corruption allegations against his rival, 75-year <b>...</b>
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