The president of the Asian Football Confederation Mohamed bin Hammam today officially announced his candidature for the post of FIFA president. Bin Hammam held at the headquarters of the AFC in Kuala Lumpur a press conference to end weeks of speculation if the AFC president would challenge incumbent Sepp Blatter in the FIFA presidential elections on June 1, 2011 in Zurich.
The 61 year old Qataris administrative career stated early at the age of 24 as the president of local Qatari club Al Rayyan, he went on to become the Qatar Football Association president in 1992 before becoming a member of the FIFA Executive Committee in 1996 and has been president of the Asian Football Confederation since August 2002. Bin Hammam has also headed the volleyball and tennis federations of his country.
Bin Hammam has brought about a lot of change within Asian football over the last decade. When he took over the charge at the AFC in 2002 it was an amateur body with a base in Kuala Lumpur. Now the AFC Champions League is a thriving continental club championship just like the AFC Asian Cup, creating competitions for nations who developing and with Vision Asia has started a program to overlook the overall development of football and its professionalisation across the continent.
He wants to take all this to FIFA if he is made the president as he is seeing the game drifting away from its roots and its base - the footballer and the fans.
Outlining his election manifesto bin Hammam said, "I will always put in mind and consider among other things the diversity of the interests and the views of different football stake holders; member associations, clubs, leagues, players and officials; the demands from the public to keep FIFA and football organisations above accusations and suspicion of negative practice; the demands of the public to create an absolute, ethical, democratic and transparent environment within FIFA; the necessity for strong unity and solidarity among member associations; the need for fair distribution of World Cup revenues between the different stake holders, taking into consideration that FIFA must build sufficient reserves to help it through difficult times and the principal of solidarity must pervade for all of our stakeholders. I will always put into consideration the need and the requirement of economically underprivileged member associations to have more technical and financial support to enable them to close the gap between their nations and those of the advanced football nations."
He also proposed the formation of a FIFA Board in place of the existing FIFA Executive Committee, if elected, and increase the number of seats for all the confederations.
"I propose UEFA gets four more seats, CAF four more seats, Asia four more seats, CONCACAF three more seats, CONMEBOL one more seat and OFC one more seat. A new executive committee will be coming, 40 members plus the president is 41 and it will avoid as much as possible for the privilege of the casting vote going to the president," he said.
"I will rename the Executive Committee the FIFA Board and will transfer all the duties and the responsibilities of the Executive Committee as it is today to the FIFA Board. I will establish an Executive Office. The President of FIFA will be the Chairman and the six presidents of the six confederations will be the members of this office. This office will be responsible to execute the decision of the Board. Collectively and jointly, the President of FIFA and the Presidents of the confederations will be responsible for executing the decisions of the FIFA Board."
"Secondly, I will decentralise the activities of the FIFA administration. The legal matters, like the statutes and international transfers, and statutory issues can be handled directly by the confederations under the supervision of their executive bodies."
"I will establish a Transparency Committee. FIFA has an Ethical Committee checking acts after they happen. The Transparency Committee is going to be sure that all the acts of FIFA are sufficiently transparent to the public before they take place."
"I also propose to increase the financial assistance to the member associations from US$250,000 to US$500,000 per year and I also propose that the budget of the Goal Project, for each project, to be increased up to US$1 million per project."
Ambitious aims if bin Hammam becomes FIFA president, but now the interesting phase begins on who can garner as many votes possible from the 208 member nations and territories.
Here a link to the video of:
the complete Mohamed bin Hamman press conference .