Mohamed bin Hammam has vowed to clear his name when he appears before the FIFA ethics committee later today after withdrawing from the presidential election.
The president of the Asian Football Confederation, Bin Hammam, and his rival in the election, current FIFA president Sepp Blatter, are both under investigation,
Bin Hammam and FIFA vice-president Jack Warner face bribery allegations while Blatter is charged with knowing about alleged bribery.
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.
He said: “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 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.”
Warner and Bin Hammam face lengthy bans should the corruption allegations made by fellow executive committee member Chuck Blazer be proven.
Blazer claims that the violations of FIFA’s code of ethics occurred during a meeting organised by Bin Hammam and Warner for Caribbean Football Union (CFU) associations in Trinidad two weeks ago. Both men deny any wrongdoing.
Bin Hammam made a complaint on Thursday that Blatter knew about the alleged cash payments in the Caribbean and under their code, the ethics committee had to summon Blatter to answer that charge as well.