FIFA presidential candidate Chung Mong-joon has branded Sepp Blatter “a hypocrite and a liar” and vowed to sue the Swiss for embezzlement.
Former FIFA vice-president Chung underlined his disdain for the state of the organisation while speaking at the Leaders Sport Business Summit in London.
The South Korean billionaire claimed the corruption allegations made against a number of FIFA executives this year has left a stain on the governing body, and alleged that Blatter has accepted salary payments without the approval of FIFA’s executive committee in the past.
“FIFA has become a badge of shame. To call it a mafia is almost insulting to mafia, so blatant and arrogant is its corruption,” he said.
“At FIFA, money and power have blinded Blatter (to) the virtues of sportsmanship. They are under the illusion at FIFA that they are above human values.
“FIFA is very secretive. No one knows how it works. No one knows what Blatter’s salary is. Blatter has meddled in confederation elections, he meddled in [UEFA president Michel] Platini’s appointment.
“For his payment without executive committee approval, I plan to sue Mr Blatter for embezzlement in court. Mr. Blatter in short is a hypocrite and a liar.
“The money I can claim from Blatter is in proportion with the damage he inflicted on FIFA. If I succeed, the money should go back to FIFA.
“If I’m elected president, I don’t need a private jet to go to the groceries, or to buy a pair of new shoes. I just need to rescue FIFA.”
Chung himself is facing a potential suspension over alleged breaches of the FIFA ethics code in relation to South Korea’s World Cup bid for the 2022 tournament.
The 63-year-old said the claims, which are linked to allegations of vote-swapping and the promotion of a $777million development fund during the bidding process, are nothing but attempts to discourage him from running for presidency.
“They’ve been doing everything to undermine me. I’m disappointed but not surprised. I’m facing suspension for bid processes.
“Unlike Blatter, [Jerome] Valcke, Platini, I’m not facing bribery allegations, fraud or anything like that.
“There has been no proof of charitable donations I made. No money or personal favours were exchanged.
“In 2010 they investigated me but ultimately (the) case was closed. Valcke in a letter to me said the integrity of the bidding process was not affected.”
Chung later condemned the decision not to investigate fellow presidential candidate Platini’s support for the Qatar bid.
“Mr. Platini voted for Qatar and his son landed a job a with a Qatar company as chief executive. The ethics committee did not even start an investigation, this is a travesty of justice.”
Blatter, under criminal investigation for corruption by Swiss authorities, has persistently denied any wrongdoing.
“The situation is not pleasant,” he told Bunte in an interview this week.
“I am being condemned without there being any evidence for wrongdoing on my part. That is really outrageous.”