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FA set to abstain from FIFA election in protest.

Byline: MARTIN ZIEGLER

THE Football Association's board are expected to register a protest vote today by deciding not to back either candidate in the FIFA presidential election.

FA chiefs have all but ruled out supporting current incumbent Sepp Blatter and last week's fresh allegations of World Cup bidding corruption involving Qatar make it increasingly likely that they will abstain in the vote on June 1. Blatter's opponent is Mohamed Bin Hammam whose own candidacy has been tarnished by claims in Parliament last week that two FIFA members were paid 1.5million dollars to vote for Qatar 2022 - he played the key role in securing the tournament for his country.

One board said: "The events of last week have not helped Bin Hammam, it would be very difficult to support Blatter so abstaining looks the most likely course."

David Bernstein, the FA chairman, has made it clear that abstaining is one of three choices to be put to the FA board, along with voting for Blatter, from Switzerland, or Bin Hammam.

Bernstein admitted last week "it wouldn't go down very well" with the public if the FA board decided to vote for the 75-year-old Blatter.

Bernstein, who insisted he will follow the wishes of other board members, said: "We will look at the recent events and take that on board. There are two candidates and three possible decisions, the other being that we will abstain."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 19, 2011
Words:234
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