[FIFA IN CRISIS] In the latest twist to the FIFA crisis triggered by bribery charges against Concacaf president Jack Warner and him, Mohamed Bin Hammam withdrew from the race for FIFA president on Saturday, one day before FIFA President Sepp Blatter, Warner and Bin Hammam are due to face a FIFA ethics committee hearing. The 62-year-old Qatari said he was withdrawing for the good of the game ...
Bin Hammam, 62, president of the Asian Football Confederation, was due to stand against incumbent Sepp Blatter in the election to choose the head of world soccer's governing body at FIFA's Congress in Zurich on Wednesday.
"I made the decision to run for the FIFA presidency because I was and remain committed to change within FIFA," bin Hammam said in a statement. "I set out my goals and ambitions clearly -- to further the cause of democracy within FIFA -- through a commitment to transparency and accountability; through a commitment to expand the number of officials and nations involved in decision-making processes.
"In addition to this, I wanted to spark a debate about change in FIFA. For the good of football, I wanted the future to be bright for our world's governing body and for it to adapt to the ever-changing world we live in today.
"However, recent events have left me hurt and disappointed -- on a professional and personal level.
"It saddens me that standing up for the causes that I believed in has come at a great price -- the degradation of FIFA's reputation. This is not what I had in mind for FIFA and this is unacceptable.
"I cannot allow the name that I loved to be dragged more and more in the mud because of competition between two individuals.
"The game itself and the people who love it around the world must come first.
"It is for this reason that I announce my withdrawal from the presidential election."
Assuming he is not expelled or suspended from FIFA on Sunday, Blatter will win unopposed when FIFA's 208 members vote on Wednesday for president.
Blatter is seeking a fourth term as president.
Bin Hammam and Warner are accused of scheming to pay $40,000 to each of the members of the Caribbean Football Union at meeting held earlier this month in Trinidad & Tobago.
Blatter is accused of knowing about the scheme but not reporting it.