Every time it appears as if the corruption allegations against FIFA will go away, new ones pop up and the most recent allegation might be the most damaging of them all considering who is at the center of it. Mohamed bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Confederation, FIFA vice-president and candidate for FIFA president has been charged with offering bribes in exchange for presidential votes. Jack Warner, president of CONCACAF and a FIFA vice-president, has also been charged with helping orchestrate the bribery.
FIFA has opened an investigation into the allegations with bin Hammam, Warner and two other people alleged to have been a a part of the bribery being asked to stand in front of the ethics committee on May 29. With the FIFA president vote set for June 1 and the race between current president Sepp Blatter and bin Hammam close, some have questioned if this investigation is a political ploy on Blatter's behalf.
One of the people who believes the investigation is a political ploy is bin Hammam, who has called it a "tactic." Both bin Hammam and Warner have vehemently denied the allegations brought forward by fellow FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer.
"This has been a difficult and painful day for me today. But, if there is even the slightest justice in the world, these allegations will vanish in the wind," bin Hammam said. "This move is little more than a tactic being used by those who have no confidence in their own ability to emerge successfully from the Fifa presidential election. I completely deny any allegations of wrongdoing either intentionally or unknowingly while I was in the Caribbean."
Warner also responded: "I am not aware of any wrongdoing on my part and I shall listen to allegations made and respond accordingly. It is interesting to note the timing of these allegations and [that] the hearing [is] scheduled days before the Fifa presidential elections."
Blazer, along with a lawyer who sits on FIFA's legal committee, compiled a package of evidence that included signed affidavits from witnesses. That evidence was sent to FIFA and led to the investigation. If bin Hammam faces punishment that suspends him from FIFA, he will be ineligible to stand in the June 1 presidential election and Blatter will win a fourth term as president unopposed.
This is hardly the first time that FIFA has been embroiled in corruption allegations. In fact, since FIFA controversially awarded the right to host the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, nine of FIFA's 24-member executive committee have been implicated in some sort of corruption.