Bin Hammam confident of clearing name

ZURICH - FIFA presidency candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam was due to arrive in Zurich on Thursday to deal with bribery allegations labelled against him by a fellow executive committee member and remains "very confident" he will be cleared.

An Asian Football Confederation (AFC) official told Reuters on Thursday that the allegations against the regional chief, brought to attention by American CONCACAF general secretary Chuck Blazer, would not cause any problems to the Qatari.

"He's going to present his case, to get his name cleared and is very confident he will do so," the official, who wished to remain anonymous, told Reuters.

"It will be business as usual. There is no chance he will withdraw from the election."

Bin Hammam was arriving early in Switzerland to attend a FIFA finance committee meeting later on Thursday ahead of the ethics committee meeting on Sunday, where he and CONCACAF president and fellow FIFA Executive Committee member Jack Warner stand accused of bribery.

The accusations stem from a meeting of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) on May 10 and 11, which was attended by Warner and Bin Hammam and which FIFA said was linked to the presidential campaign.

Two CFU members, Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester, were also accused of wrongdoing and have been asked to attend Sunday's meeting.

Deputy chairman Petrus Damaseb of Namibia will head the ethics committee meeting after chairman Claudio Sulser stood down as the Swiss shares the same nationality as FIFA president Sepp Blatter, Bin Hammam's election opponent.

The 62-year-old Qatari built much of his election manifesto on his wish to make FIFA more transparent after a rash of negative headlines and the suspension of two executive committee members before the vote for the hosting of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in December.

He faces a tough task in ousting 13-year incumbent Blatter and in a statement released on Wednesday when FIFA revealed the allegations, Bin Hammam pointed an accusing finger as to why the accusations had come out a week before the June 1 election.

"This move is little more than a tactic being used by those who have no confidence in their own ability to emerge successfully from the FIFA presidential election," the Asian football chief said.