English Football Association Asks To Postpone Election Of FIFA President

May 31, 2011

The English Football Association and the Scottish FA called on FIFA to postpone a vote for president scheduled for tomorrow.

If you haven't been keeping up, recently FIFA has been hit by a barrage of ethics scandals. By its count, Major League Soccer Talk reports that 10 of the 32 members of the sport's governing body are under investigation.

The latest scandal involves Mohamed bin Hammam, the only person who was challenging incumbent Sepp Blatter for the presidency. Bin Hammam was suspended by FIFA's ethics committee for allegedly trying to buy votes, so he bowed out of the elections leaving a free path for Blatter to serve another four-year term.

This comes after allegations that Qatar had bought itself the chance to host the 2022 World Cup.

ESPN reports that English Football Association chairman David Bernstein called for the delay in the vote out of "principle:"

As well as a postponement, Bernstein wants FIFA to appoint an independent body to supervise reforms after the scandals of the last month. The FA would need 75% of the 208 associations to back them tomorrow - and that looks a forlorn hope.

"To get 150-odd votes clearly would be extremely difficult when we starting from a standing start but there was actually a matter of principle involved," Bernstein said. "Myself and the FA feel that the situation FIFA has got itself into is in many ways unacceptable. Going forward in this situation if he does with a coronation rather than an election I don't think does anybody any good - including Mr Blatter."

The AP reports that Scottish FA asked that the vote be delayed and that an independent ethics committee be appointed to make changes to the organization:

"The events of the last two days, in particular, have made any election unworkable," Stewart Regan, the Scottish FA chief executive, said in a statement.

"The integrity and reputation of the game across the world is paramount and the Scottish FA urges Fifa to reconsider its intentions, and calls on other member associations to consider the long-term implications for the game's image."

Blatter for his part held a tense press conference on Monday in which he said that football was not in a crisis. He was defensive and walked out of the press conference after reporters shot follow-up questions:

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