South Korean FIFA presidential candidate Chung Mong-Joon on Friday accused football’s governing body of overlooking an “election fraud” favouring rival and front-runner Michel Platini.
Chung claimed last week that the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) had sent “unsolicited” letters to almost every AFC member association supporting Platini’s candidacy.
He urged FIFA’s Ad-hoc Electoral Committee to investigate UEFA president Platini and AFC president Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, arguing they were using their status to influence the election process.
But the committee concluded there had been no rule violations, prompting Chung’s angry response on Friday.
“We object to this conclusion in the strongest possible terms,” he said in a statement, denouncing the committee for conducting a superficial probe.
This is “tantamount to covering up an election fraud,” the statement said.
Chung’s accusations were based on a form letter the AFC sent to national football federations, expressing support for Platini and addressed to FIFA’s secretary general.
It is titled “Proposal and support of the candidature of Mr. MP (Michel Platini) for the office of FIFA President.”
An AFC statement made no denial of the letters but noted Sheikh Salman’s public support of Platini, and said all national football associations would be free to vote how they wished.
The FIFA election campaign is already turning into a bitter affair with allegations of behind-the-scenes dirty tricks.
Chung has vowed that if successful in the February election, he would serve just one term.