NZ Football want Sepp Blatter as Fifa president ,

New Zealand Football have confirmed their vote for Sepp Blatter ahead of the Fifa presidential election in 18 days.

Chairman Frank van Hattum yesterday told Sunday News that an NZF decision has already been made and he will personally cast the vote in Zurich, Switzerland, on June 1 (June 2, NZT).

With fresh corruption allegations hanging over both Blatter and Qatari opposition candidate Mohammed bin Hammam – allegations now prompting a British parliamentary inquiry – van Hattum said until "muck-raking" turns to proof he has no reason to doubt the credibility of either man, or indeed, Fifa.

NZF's decision to vote for Blatter, van Hattum explained, was based on the Swiss' substantial contribution to the Oceania Football Confederation since securing world football's top job in 1998.

"The tack we're taking is the Fifa president [Blatter] has done a hell of lot for this region and New Zealand and we're happy to support that vote on the day," van Hattum said. "It was discussed at the last board meeting and at the end of the day we're happy with the decision the OFC is wanting us to reach.

"It's also the way we are seeing it and we have the authority to vote on the day as we see fit.

"It all goes back – we've had a terrific run out of Fifa and the president who has been particularly supportive on a number of initiatives and, as far as we're concerned, there's been a lot of progress and we don't see any reason that wouldn't continue."

When asked if a decision has been reached already, van Hattum replied: "Yes, I think it is fair to say that."

He also questioned the motives behind the English FA's "rumour and innuendo", having recently lost a bid to host the 2018 World Cup to Russia, and the timing of their escalated allegations around World Cup vote rigging.

"It's always disappointing when your sport gets muck-raked and you do question the motivation of the people doing it," van Hattum said.

"If they [The FA] had all this information, why hasn't it been forthcoming for people to act on it?

"I'm totally disappointed in the rumour and innuendo. The behaviour is not appropriate."

On Thursday night, the OFC circulated a press release re-affirming its support for Blatter. And while van Hattum said the OFC's wishes have no influence over NZF's decision, he suggested: "The OFC is unified and we have been given some great opportunities out of Fifa."

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Following last year's World Cup voting scandal, which hooked the OFC and then president Reynald Temarii, van Hattum has campaigned for increased transparency. He rejected the concept that voting for Blatter, or bin Hammam, could be perceived in any way hypocritical.
There's a number of issues and many organisations constantly look at things they're doing," he said. "So yes, I think they've already signalled they need to change processes and be very clear on how decisions are made.
Fifa's already signalled that current practices need to be reviewed. We're therefore happy to give him [Blatter] the chance to do that. You can't ask for more."

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