Former general secretary of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Peter Velappan has questioned Mohamed Bin Hammam’s credentials after he announced his decision to challenge Sepp Blatter for Fifa presidency this June.
Velappan is not convinced his ex-colleague is the right man to succeed Blatter, claiming that the governing body of world football would be “doomed” if the 61-year-old were to come into power.
"Fifa will be doomed if Hammam became the president. It would be very detrimental,” Velappan was quoted as saying by The Independent.
Velappan, who joined the AFC back in 1954 and served as the general secretary from 1978 to 2007, said that Hammam’s promise to bring in more democracy and transparency in Fifa was merely lip service as he wasn’t able to usher in the same at the continental level in his capacity as the AFC president.
“These are the very things he has not done in AFC. There is no democracy in AFC,” claimed the 2002 World Cup tournament director.
"He is definitely an underdog but you can't rule out his influence."
While Hammam has mentioned the need for a “change” given that Blatter has already spent 13 years at the coveted post, the Tamilian states that the 75-year-old must be given more time to remove the malpractices prevalent in the game.
"Blatter needs this [fourth term as president] to fight corruption in football, including Fifa, and to tackle the problem of illegal football betting," Velappan said.
"This is not the time to challenge.”