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Bin Hammam: Time for Blatter to step down

  • AP, Monday, January 24, 2011 6:40 PM

Asian Football Confederation President Mohamed bin Hammam told The Associated Press that Sepp Blatter has been at FIFA for too long and needs to be replaced as president of soccer's governing body.

"Everybody is going to accuse us today as corrupted people because maybe people see Mr. Blatter has stayed a long time in FIFA,” Bin Hammam said. “Thirty-five years in one organization is quite long time. No matter how clean you are, honest or how correct you are, still people will attack you. You are going to be defenseless. That is why I believe change is the best thing for the organization.”

The 74-year-old Blatter joined FIFA in 1975 as technical director, became secretary general in 1981 and president in 1998. He is up for re-election for a fourth four-year term as FIFA president in June, and so far no one is running against him. The Qatari Bin Hammam has said that he wants to someday replace Blatter but he declined to say whether he would challenge the Swiss incumbent this year.

"I’m actually seeking to see competition within FIFA for the post," Bin Hammam said. "I would prefer to see two candidates proposing themselves, or maybe more than two proposing themselves to the congress of FIFA. Competition is good for the organization, whether president or any other posts. Competition is the best way to make the organization vibrant and alive.”

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