NEW DELHI - Asia football chief Mohamad
Bin Hammam oozed charm and geniality as he urged the continent
to rally behind him on Thursday in his bid to unseat FIFA
president Sepp Blatter in the governing body's June election.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) chief said the entire
region should support this "Asian project" which, if successful,
would end Blatter's 13-year reign at the helm.
"I'm hoping that this attempt is going to be an Asian
project, being for all of Asia," the 61-year-old Qatari told
reporters after a South Asian Football Federation (SAFF)
"I'm representing all of you in this room and all of you in
this continent. I will have to seek your support and I wish that
every one of you pray that Asia will succeed in giving a FIFA
president this time."
Bin Hammam insisted he had as much chance as his 75-year-old
Swiss opponent in the June 1 election in Zurich and claimed the
wind of change blowing through the FIFA corridors could further
tilt the balance in his favour.
"I gave myself a 50 percent chance and I hope this 50
percent grows," he added.
"It's not about competing against one who has been in the
seat for so long. The idea is, a lot of people are looking
forward to changes and are looking forward to new ideas. With
their support, the number can grow further."
He was virtually assured of SAFF's support by its president
Kazi Salahuddin and the All India Football Federation (AIFF)
chief Praful Patel.
Bin Hammam, dressed in a sharp business suit, described both
as "my dear brother" and hugged Patel before stepping into his
"I enjoy a very good relationship with the AIFF and Praful
Patel is like a brother. I see India as a supporter of my
He also promised to focus on developing the game further in
the world's two most populous nations.
"Even now you can see how much we are interested to promote
the game in India. I'm the president of a confederation which
comprises two-thirds of the world population and two-thirds of
these people are living in two countries - India and China.
"We are going to strengthen our efforts in these two
countries because developing football in India and China means
developing the game in two-thirds of Asia."
Central defender fit enough to play in the Champions League final at Wembley
Bayern Munich unfazed by the need to be more clinical in attack against Borussia Dortmund
Ruud Gullit believes Bayern Munich are in for a shock when they take on Borussia Dortmund
Napoli president denies reports that he has named Rafael Benitez as club's new manager
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010