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May 26, 2011

Bin Hammam calls for Blatter probe

FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam has demanded that current supremo Sepp Blatter is also included in the world governing body's bribery investigation.

• Sepp: No joy at rival's plight
• Bin Hammam denies claims

Bin Hammam, who along with FIFA vice-president Jack Warner and two other officials will face the ethics committee this weekend, is due to stand against Blatter in next Wednesday's election.

The 62-year-old Qatari is being investigated following claims by FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer that he broke the governing body's strict code of ethics at a meeting in West Indies earlier this month.

The Asian Football Confederation chief has denied any wrongdoing and has called for any FIFA investigation to include Blatter as Bin Hammam claims the Swiss has also been named in evidence submitted to the ethics committee ahead of a hearing on Sunday.

Bin Hammam said in a statement: "Mohamed Bin Hammam, member of the executive committee of FIFA, was surprised by yesterday's accusations of bribery. He rejects these accusations and confirms that they are without substance.

"The accusations also contain statements according to which Mr Blatter, the incumbent FIFA president, was informed of, but did not oppose, payments allegedly made to members of the Caribbean Football Union.

"Mr Bin Hammam has therefore requested that the investigation by the Ethics Committee be extended to include Mr Blatter himself.

"The timing of the accusations so close to the election of FIFA president on June 1, suggests that they are part of a plan to damage Mr Bin Hammam and force him to withdraw as a candidate for the FIFA presidency.''

Bin Hammam added: "I am not at all afraid to answer any questions that the Ethics Committee may have for me at the hearing next Sunday. As long as the Committee guarantees a fair process, I have nothing to fear.''

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