Qatari rejects Korean complaint over Asian football vote

Qatar Football Association general secretary Saoud Al-Mohannadi (5th L) poses with others next to the FIFA World Cup trophy following its arrival in Doha, on a tour on Dec 12, 2013. (Reuters pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Qatar’s Saoud al-Mohannadi rejected a Korean complaint over alleged campaigning irregularities as he won a coveted place on the FIFA Council and South Korea’s Chung Mong-gyu lost his seat on Saturday.

Mohannadi, one of six Asian Football Confederation delegates to be voted on to the powerful council, said the complaint claiming preferential treatment for Qatar was unfounded.

“The complaint had no grounds actually,” Mohannadi said after the vote at the AFC Congress, held at a luxury hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

“I don’t know what he had in his mind to file this complaint but we worked with them for a long time, with the Korean FA.

“We have a very good relationship with Mr Chung and I hope for their side that this won’t spoil this relationship.”

South Korea lodged its complaint with the AFC’s electoral committee, saying Qatar offered AFC voters a free trip to Doha while a similar invitation to Seoul was disallowed.

But Chung, a scion of the Hyundai business empire, said he did not expect the electoral committee to reverse the result of the vote.

Asked whether he thought the campaign was unfair, Chung told AFP: “Yeah, that’s why we complained.”

“I don’t think the result will be reversed. We’ve done the voting already… if anything can be done I don’t know, it’s up to the electoral committee to decide,” he added.