Thursday, November 27, 2008


Stick to the football children

Hammam lashes out at Velappan

SHANGHAI: Asian Football Confederation president Mohammed Hammam yesterday slammed former top official Peter Velappan, accusing the influential Malaysian of conspiring against him.

The two have fallen out over Hammam’s proposal to move AFC House out of Malaysia, which has hosted the governing body since 1965.

In a letter to the AFC Executive Committee meeting here yesterday, Velappan, who served as AFC secretary-general for 30 years, claimed the governing body were becoming increasingly “authoritarian”.

He urged member nations to block an “insulting” plan to shift their headquarters and ridiculed demands laid out by Hammam, saying that his request for diplomatic status for AFC staff was “ridiculous”.

He added that the proposal to relocate was “a travesty to everyone who has given so much to put Asian football on the map”.

In response, Hammam showed a letter Velappan wrote to the Malaysian authorities in 2003, when he was secretary-general, demanding concessions that virtually mirror the ones he is now ridiculing.

In the letter, Vellapan seeks “diplomatic status for our president and general-secretary and income tax-free status for our employees,” among other demands.

Hammam claimed Velappan had “conspired” against every president the AFC had.

“Send that letter to him, tell him that he sent this and ask him what he has to say about that,” Hammam said in handing over the letter.

“Without hestitating, and this is for the record, he is a conspiracy man,” he added.

“He has conspired against all the presidents before me and he is doing it again now in the same way.”

Hammam refused to elaborate.

Velappan angrily rejected the allegation that he had undermined past presidents, but did not deny sending the letter.

“I can’t remember sending the letter but Hammam was already president when the letter was sent, and if such a letter was sent it must have been with the consent and under the instructions of Hammam,” he said.

“I know that since Hammam took over the presidency in 2002, he has wanted diplomatic status for himself.”

COMMENT - How pathetic. And look at Velappan's comments...first he can't remember, then he says it was sent then he says he's not sure! In one bloody sentence!

UPDATE - Check out this Aussie look at things by the Half Time Orange

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