It hasn't taken long for Mohamed bin Hammam to start his campaigning for FIFA President and make calls for a more open and transparent FIFA in the wake of recent corruption claims of the world's football governing body. Bin Hammam recently announced that he will run against Sepp Blatter for FIFA President in hopes of ending Blatter's 13 years in charge of FIFA and early on in his campaign has said that while FIFA is not corrupt, it needed to be more open.
In speaking of transparency, bin Hammam focused on the World Cup bidding process. The process came under intense scrutiny in the last few months when two FIFA executive committee members were suspended from FIFA for taking bribes and four others were sanctioned. That scrutiny only intensified when Russia was chosen to host the 2018 World Cup and Qatar was chosen to host the 2022 World Cup under suspicion of corruption and outrage from rival bidders from more established football countries like England, Spain, the United States and Australia.
"We need to explain decision making - people are making decisions that affect millions," he told BBC sports editor David Bond. Bin Hammam added that "we belong to the people - acting on behalf of them."
FIFA currently awards World Cups based on a vote of their executive committee, a select group of 24 in an organization with 208 member nations. This is contrary to the International Olympic Committee, which awards Olympics hosting rights based on a vote that includes every member nation. The IOC also has much more stringent rules on what voting members can and can't do limiting the opportunity for voters to be bribed.
"It's reasonable and logical to vote openly - it happens in other organisations, why shouldn't it happen in FIFA?" bin Hammam said.
Calls for transparency from bin Hammam in World Cup bidding may be considered strange to some who are critical of Qatar winning the right to host 2022 World Cup. Bin Hammam is Qatari and was a staunch supporter of Qatar's winning bid, but he insisted that Qatar's bid was free of corruption and the deserved winner.
In addition to calls for transparency, bin Hammam said that he would like to see FIFA's power and responsibility limited somewhat and pass some of it onto the confederations. He also came out in support of goal line technology, something that Blatter is not in favor of.
Blatter has not been challenged in an election since 2002 because when his second term ended in 2006, nobody ran against him. As he seeks a fourth term, he appears to have a substantial challenger in bin Hammam. The election for a new president will take place on June 1 at the FIFA Congress in Zurich, Switzerland.