(WFI) FIFA presidential candidate Chung Mong-joon says he plans to sue Sepp Blatter for $100m for embezzlement, in a stinging attack on him at a London conference in which he labelled the 79-year-old a “liar” and a “hypocrite”.
Chung, a former FIFA executive committee member, was speaking at the Leaders Sport Business Summit in London a day after releasing a statement in which he confirmed he was facing a 15-year ban from football from world football’s ethics committee.
INSIDER had it confirmed last week that Chung is under investigation for his proposed $777 million global football development fund to aid South Korea’s 2022 World Cup bid.. He is also under scrutiny for what he has termed “charitable donations” made to disaster relief funds to Haiti and Pakistan in 2010.
Chung maintains he is innocent and said: “If these reports are true, we condemn this as a cynical and unethical effort by FIFA to misrepresent even charitable donations for political manipulation”.
Addressing delegates and reporters at Stamford Bridge, Chung pulled no punches in his attack on Blatter, and claimed FIFA had turned into a “criminal organisation”.
“The national associations know he [Blatter] is the source of all the problems” Chung said in his speech at Chelsea FC’s stadium.
“Even after announcing his resignation Mr Blatter wants to stay on to oversee the reforms and the next presidential election. The target of reform should not be allowed to oversee the reform process. He is a hypocrite and a liar.
“Most football leaders agree Mr Blatter is corrupt but they prefer to hide behind a curtain of fear and contempt. FIFA is in total meltdown and Mr Blatter’s dynasty is coming to an end but still few dare speak out against him.
He added: “FIFA has become a badge of shame. To call it a mafia is almost insulting to mafia, so blatant and arrogant is its corruption.”
“At FIFA, money and power have blinded Blatter in the virtues of sportsmanship. For his payment without executive committee approval, I plan to sue Mr Blatter on his embezzlement in court.”
Chung railed against the investigation against him, claiming it was to “sabotage” his FIFA presidential candidacy.
He produced letters from suspended FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke which he claimed exonerated him of the allegations.
Outlining his vision for the future of FIFA, Chung pledged to introduce term limits for the presidency saying “I will just need one four-year term to repair FIFA”.
He also promised to raise the profile of women’s football: “I will elevate the Women’s World Cup to a new dimension by raising the prize money”.
The South Korean also promised to increase transparency. Yet, when asked by journalists who he voted for in the controversial 2018-2022 World Cup hosting bid process he declined to answer and criticised UEFA president Michel Platini for doing so.
“It was a secret vote,” he said. “That Mr Platini disclosed his vote, I think he should be punished for this. Because it is a secret vote, it is a FIFA regulation.”
He added that it was a “travesty of justice” that the Frenchman had voted for Qatar and that his son soon acquired a job with a Qatari company, but that no ethics investigation had been launched by FIFA.
Chung continued to criticise Blatter’s leadership.
“In the Visa-MasterCard [sponsor switch] case [in 2006] the judge said FIFA is not fit to use the slogan of fair play. She used the word ‘lies’ 13 times. Those lies cost FIFA $100m. The case should have been a criminal case. That was corruption,” he told the conference.
“They had even feigned the signature of the president of Visa to make a separate contract to deceive MasterCard. Why should FIFA pay the fine for president Blatter’s corruption? President Blatter and Mr Valcke, the general secretary [who is now] under suspension, should have paid the fine from their own pocket.”
“At the executive committee meeting after the verdict I raised the issue and Mr Blatter tried to freeze me out. I was the only executive committee member to do so. This is another case on which I will sue president Blatter.”
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