Soccer: Fifa candidate says FA abstention a wasted vote

The English Football Association should reconsider its abstention from the Fifa presidential vote as it was forfeiting its right to effect change from within, candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam said yesterday.

The FA last week said it would abstain from the June 1 vote, which pits Asia confederation chief Bin Hammam against 13-year incumbent Sepp Blatter, days after former chairman David Triesman told a British parliamentary inquiry that the World Cup bidding process was blighted by corruption.

On his personal website, Bin Hammam said he was surprised and disappointed by the FA's decision.

"The football family is vast and diverse - perhaps more so than any of us can truly comprehend - and that is one of our sport's greatest strengths," he said.

"So it is always disappointing when someone opts not to engage with the rest, when one of our national associations takes the decision not to try to effect change from the inside.

"I realise they have their reasons for making their decision but I hope in the days leading up to the election that they will reconsider their position and make moves to engage fully with the global football family, both on June 1 and beyond."

The FA's 2018 World Cup bid failed dismally, drawing only two votes, with bid officials complaining that the voting system was flawed and that Fifa executive committee members had lied. Russia won hosting rights.

The parliamentary inquiry also heard that Qatar's successful bid to host the 2022 tournament, backed by Bin Hammam, a Qatari, was marred by allegations of wrongdoing .

Fifa has said it will investigate the allegations.

Qatar released a statement yesterday denying all the allegations against it.

Bin Hammam has previously said the governing body's reputation had been sullied by the allegations, but denied it was corrupt.

- Agencies

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