PARIS - Sepp Blatter and his challenger
for the FIFA presidency Mohamed Bin Hammam hit the campaign
trail on Monday as they began canvassing votes among European
federations for the election in June.
Both men spent part of the day at the same luxury hotel near
the Arc de Triumph where members of all 53 European associations
are gathering for Tuesday's UEFA Congress.
Also present was American journalist Grant Wahl, who hopes
to stand as a protest candidate.
FIFA's 208 member associations have a vote apiece in the
presidential election which will be held in Zurich on June 1 and
with 53 members, more than other confederation, UEFA is one of
the key regions.
Blatter, who has held the post for 13 years, declined to
talk to reporters and delegates would not comment on where their
Bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Confederation
(AFC) and formerly a close personal friend of Blatter, said that
football was stagnating under the Swiss's leadership.
"Mr Blatter came wanting eight years, two mandates, then 12
years and three mandates, and now four mandates and actually
nothing is changing in the last three or four years," Bin Hammam
"I am someone who has been contributing to football through
my presidency of the Asian confederation, my love for football
and my membership of the FIFA executive committee and I don't
see anything is moving, anything is changing.
Earlier on Monday, Bin Hammam met Nicolas Leoz, president of
the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL).
Leoz, who like Blatter and Bin Hammam is a guest of UEFA,
told Reuters that CONMEBOL, whose 10 members are expected to
vote as a block, had not decided on their candidate.
Meanwhile, Wahl was attempting to find one association to
provide written backing for his vote before the April 1
The American said he been in contact with more than 150
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