Fifa presidential contender Chung Mong-Joon has hit back at critics and slammed the entire election process as he defends himself against allegations of wrongdoing.
The South Korean, who confirmed he would stand for election last month, has once again defended his reputation following speculation that he is under investigation by FIFA’s ethics committee as he bids to replace Sepp Blatter next February.
Having dismissed earlier allegations that he tried in 2010 to influence the vote in favour of his home bid for the 2022 World Cup, Chung has criticised Fifa for trying to undermine his campaign from the off.
“Whether or not the upcoming Fifa presidential election takes place according to due process, fairness and openness will be the litmus test for whether or not genuine reform of Fifa will be possible,” read a statement issued by his office.
“Only a fair and open election can resuscitate Fifa’s reputation which has been gravely undermined by scandals old and new.
“Unfortunately, there are increasing signs that the election is deteriorating into a typical Fifa affair with selective leaks of so-called ‘confidential’ information, accusations of wrong-doing based on ‘unconfirmed reports’, un-named ‘sources’ and ‘insiders’.
“The recent press reports attacking Dr. Chung’s character and integrity are based on such unconfirmed, leaked sources and full of factual distortions.”
Chung also reiterated that he had done nothing wrong and was not under any kind of investigation.
“To be clear, contrary to recent press reports based on Fifa leaks, Dr. Chung is not facing any criminal charges or allegations of bribery, fraud, corruption, vote buying or even a breach of ‘conflict of interest’ under the Fifa Ethics Code from the Ethics Committee,” read the statement.
“Beyond that, Dr. Chung refrains from commenting on any possible Ethics Committee proceedings out of respect for confidentiality requests made by Fifa.
“However, by leaking information that could only have come from within Fifa, Fifa is violating its own rules and regulations that it imposes upon others. Indeed, the current election is in danger of being manipulated to a degree unseen even in previous notorious Fifa presidential elections.”
“This is not just a matter of who gets elected the next President of Fifa. It is a matter of what kind of Fifa will emerge out of this current crisis. Will it be the old corrupt Fifa shunned by fans, or will it be a new Fifa that can truly represent and raise to new heights our beautiful game? This is what hangs in the balance.”