FIFA news

Warner: Blatter would have been beaten

December 14, 2012
By ESPN staff

Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner insists Mohamed Bin Hammam had a "great chance" of beating Sepp Blatter in the most recent presidential race before bribery allegations derailed his campaign.

Mohamed Bin Hammam and Jack Warner
PA PhotosMohamed Bin Hammam and Jack Warner during their time with FIFA

Bin Hammam was banned for life by FIFA, but ultimately had that decision overturned in the Court of Arbitration for Sport. FIFA's ethics investigator has since closed the case into the bribery allegations against the Qatari after failing to uncover new evidence.

Warner, who resigned from football after himself being charged with bribery, said he felt vindicated by FIFA's decision to close the investigation. Warner says he was always confident he and Bin Hamman would be cleared, and that FIFA should have a new president.

"I must really extend sincere congratulations to my former colleague in FIFA for taking the battle all the way to CAS," Warner said.

"This happened at a time when he was challenging for the presidency of FIFA. It is unfortunate that these allegations derailed Bin Hammam's chances which I thought were very good. Bin Hammam had a great chance of being the new FIFA president."

Warner said he has no intention of returning to FIFA. Meanwhile, Bin Hammam is still provisionally suspended from football over financial mismanagement allegations while AFC president, but his legal team are challenging that in the Swiss courts.