MJ Chung’s Press Conference Remarks (2015.09.03)


Opening Remarks

Dr. MJ Chung
September 3, 2015

I am holding this press conference because, recently, incidents that seriously undermine the fairness of the election for FIFA President has come to our attention.

Sheikh Salman, President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), has publicly supported Michel Platini, President of UEFA. We have learned that AFC has sent unsolicited letters to almost every AFC member association. Most AFC member countries including China, Japan, Mongolia, India, and Singapore received this letter. South Korea and Jordan, however, did not.

The letter is a form letter to be filled in by the National Football Association supporting the candidacy of Mr. Michel Platini and addressed to FIFA’s Secretary General. It is entitled “Proposal and support of the candidature of Mr. MP [Michel Platini] for the office of FIFA President.” The purpose of the letter is clearly defined as “support of the candidature of Mr. MP for the office of FIFA President, to be elected at the next FIFA Extraordinary Congress 2016.” It further states that “…just for good order, we wish to confirm that [INSERT NAME ASSOCIATION] is supporting only MR. MP and, accordingly, we did not sign any other declaration of support for another candidate for the office of FIFA President.”

The Director and staff members of AFC’s Department of Member Associations and Development has made private phone calls to individual member associations, checking to see whether they sent in completed form letters to FIFA.

The Director and staff members of AFC’s Department of Member Associations and Development has made private phone calls to individual member associations, checking to see whether they sent in completed form letters to FIFA.

We have also confirmed that similar attempts were made at the Confederation of African Football (CAF). It is likely that similar incidents have occurred at other Confederations.

In Africa, a CAF senior official circulated the same form letters to its member associations. After CAF became fully aware of this incident, it conducted an internal review, deemed its behavior highly improper and took measures to rectify the situation.

Of the 209 members who can vote for FIFA President, 46 belong to AFC and 54 to CAF. Given that the Confederations exercise tremendous influence over its member associations in organizing football tournaments and through administrative oversight, it is clear that the fairness of the FIFA presidential election has been seriously compromised.

According to FIFA Statutes, only the member associations possess the right to propose candidates for the office of FIFA President, and each member should make its decision independently and with no influence from third parties. Aforementioned efforts seeking to influence each member associations’ right to propose candidate, therefore, directly violate Articles 24.1 and 17.1 of the FIFA Statutes.

Furthermore, the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee’s guidelines emphasize that candidates holding official positions within FIFA should not abuse their position of power in the election process. If AFC President Salman and UEFA President Platini are taking advantage of their status as the AFC and UEFA presidents and seeking to intervene in the election process, their actions are in breach of the basic principles of election and violate FIFA’s spirit of “fair play.”

Such acts also clearly violate Articles 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4 of Electoral Regulations for FIFA Presidency that demand FIFA presidential elections be carried out in a fair, transparent and reputable manner. It is an obvious case of election fraud infringing on the basic rights of other presidential candidates.

As such, on August 31, we sent official letters and relevant documents to Domenico Scala, Chairman of FIFA Ad-hoc Electoral Committee, and Cornel Borbely, Chairman of FIFA Ethics Committee, calling on them to immediately investigate the facts and the parties, including Sheikh Salman, the CAF Senior Official, Mr. Platini, as well as the related Confederations and the Members, surrounding the above-mentioned infringements of the FIFA regulations and promptly disclose all of the facts and findings related to the above in order to restore the integrity of the election process.

We also requested the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee to promptly institute remedies sufficient to address the prejudice and harm already sustained by the potential candidates. This includes the nullification of any “support” for the candidature of Mr. Platini received through the form letters sent by AFC, the Senior Official of CAF and/or any other Confederation.

Attached files are a copy of the form letter sent by AFC to its member associations, relevant FIFA Statutes and Electoral Regulations.


Thank you.

AFC form letter

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