Mr Mohamed Bin Hammam, President of the Asian Football Confederation and a member of the Executive Committee of the world football boidy, FIFA, expressed surprised at yesterday's accusations of bribery. He rejects these accusations and confirms that they are without substance.
The accusations also contain statements according to which Mr J S Blatter, the incumbent FIFA president, was informed of, but did not oppose, payments allegedly made to members of the Caribbean Football Union. Mr Bin Hammam has therefore requested that the investigation by the Ethics Committee be extended to include Mr Blatter himself.
According to Mr Bin Hammam, the timing of the accusations so close to the election of FIFA president on 1 June 2011 suggests that they are part of a plan to damage Mr Bin Hammam and force him to withdraw as a candidate for the FIFA presidency.
"I am not at all afraid to answer any questions that the Ethics Committee may have for me at the hearing next Sunday. As long as the Committee guarantees a fair process, I have nothing to fear," Mr Bin Hammam said in a written statement issued to Asian Football Business.
In recognition of FIFA's rules and regulations, Mr Bin Hammam said he reserved the right to explore all legal options.