Alexa

FIFA challenger bin Hammam seeks Europe votes

 FIFA President Sepp Blatter speaks during a press conference in Yangon, Myanmar, Tuesday, March 15, 2011. Blatter officially opened Myanmar's first e...
 President of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Mohamed bin Hammam speaks during a press conference at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Frida...
 President of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Mohamed bin Hammam speaks during a press conference at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Frida...
 UEFA German Executive member Franz Beckenbauer, left, listens to French UEFA president Michel Platini prior to the UEFA executive meeting in Paris, M...

Myanmar Soccer

FIFA President Sepp Blatter speaks during a press conference in Yangon, Myanmar, Tuesday, March 15, 2011. Blatter officially opened Myanmar's first e...

Malaysia FIFA Bin Hammam Challenge

President of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Mohamed bin Hammam speaks during a press conference at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Frida...

Malaysia FIFA Bin Hammam Challenge

President of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Mohamed bin Hammam speaks during a press conference at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Frida...

France UEFA Congress

UEFA German Executive member Franz Beckenbauer, left, listens to French UEFA president Michel Platini prior to the UEFA executive meeting in Paris, M...

Mohamed bin Hammam stepped up his bid to oust FIFA President Sepp Blatter by seeking support from European football leaders on Monday.
Bin Hammam, the Qatari who is challenging incumbent Blatter, said he came to the UEFA Congress in Paris hoping to raise his profile.
"I need to introduce myself to you and the public," the Asian Football Confederation President told reporters. "My aim was also to meet with as many as I can of the presidents of the federations at this Congress. I hope I am going to meet some."
Both Blatter and bin Hammam, a key factor behind Qatar's successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup, accepted longstanding invitations to attend the Congress.
Blatter arrived at his hotel on Monday and declined to speak to reporters.
The 53-nation UEFA Congress opens Tuesday and will give Michel Platini a second four-year term as president unopposed.
Platini has asked Blatter and bin Hammam to be guests at UEFA's official dinner on Monday evening, which will be held on a boat on the River Seine. Leaders of FIFA's other confederations are also attending.
As FIFA President, Blatter gets to address UEFA members Tuesday morning at the start of the Congress at the Grand Palais.
Europe's football agenda was overshadowed by world events when bin Hammam confirmed last Friday he would try to end Blatter's 13-year hold on the game's most powerful job.
UEFA members make up more than one quarter of the maximum 208 FIFA voters that Blatter and bin Hammam will attempt to woo before a June 1 election in Zurich.
The winner needs a two-thirds majority of valid votes cast in the first ballot, or a majority in the second. FIFA has set an April 1 deadline for other candidates to be nominated by a single member federation.
The first FIFA election since 2002 _ when bin Hammam helped manage Blatter's successful campaign _ promises a hard-fought contest between former allies.
Platini has no such worries retaining his presidential office on Tuesday.
However, he could play a fascinating role in the fight between his two FIFA Executive Committee colleagues.
The former France playing great was mentored in football politics by Blatter after being chosen to organize the successful 1998 World Cup staged in his home country.
However, bin Hammam has recently revealed he offered to support any Platini bid to take on Blatter in 2011. Platini also voted for Qatar's bid to host the 2022 World Cup.
Platini has been seen as a strong candidate for the 2015 FIFA election, when Blatter would be 79.
While Blatter is unpopular with some European football powers, including England, other UEFA members could regard bin Hammam as an unwanted barrier to Platini's FIFA ambitions.
In January, Platini said he would not declare himself a FIFA candidate while promising UEFA members he would serve them for four more years.
UEFA has its own election business on Tuesday, including confirming four of its eight delegates to the 24-member FIFA ruling panel. All the four-year positions are uncontested and officially begin June 1 in Zurich.
As UEFA President, Platini is guaranteed status as one of three FIFA vice presidents from Europe.
Spanish federation President Angel Maria Villar will have his mandate extended, and Jim Boyce from Northern Ireland takes over the vice presidency reserved for the four British nations. It's currently held by Englishman Geoff Thompson.
With former West Germany great Franz Beckenbauer leaving his FIFA executive post for family reasons, German federation President Theo Zwanziger was the only nomination to replace 'Der Kaiser.'
Seven officials will be elected to UEFA's own 16-member executive committee, and the candidates include three former World Cup players now leading their national football bodies.
Grzegorz Lato scored for Poland at three successive tournaments from 1974-82; Ivan Hasek captained Czechoslovakia to the quarterfinals in 1990; and Borislav Mihaylov was Bulgaria's goalkeeper on its run to the 1994 semifinals.
Lato seeks entry into UEFA's inner circle in advance of Poland co-hosting the 2012 European Championship with Ukraine.
Ukrainian federation President Grygoriy Surkis is chasing re-election while facing a campaign at home to remove him from national duties.
Villar, Senes Erzik of Turkey, Portugal's Gilberto Madail, Mircea Sandu of Romania and Lithuanian Liutauras Varanavieius also seek re-election.
The other candidates are Francois De Keersmacker of Belgium, Norman Darmanin Demajo from Malta, Russia's Sergey Fursenko and Switzerland's Peter Gillieron.