SEOUL, Aug. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — FIFA presidential hopeful Chung Mong-joon on Wednesday condemned the world soccer governing body’s alleged probe into his past donations, calling it an “unethical effort” to politically use “even charitable donations.”
Bloomberg reported earlier in the day that FIFA’s ethics committee is investigating charity donations made by Chung — US$400,000 to Pakistan after floods there in 2010 and $500,000 to following an earthquake the same year.
“Recent media reports allege that FIFA has started an investigation into FIFA Honorary Vice President Dr. Chung Mong-joon’s 2010 donations to disaster relief funds to Haiti and Pakistan,” he said in an English-language press release
“If these reports are true, we condemn this as a cynical and unethical effort by FIFA to misrepresent even charitable donations for political manipulation.”
He stressed that he has consistently provided charitable donations to those in need, both at home and abroad since the 1990s.
In addition to Haiti and Pakistan, donations were sent to Turkey, Bangladesh, China and Myanmar, he added.
Chung, a former FIFA vice president, returned home Tuesday after declaring his candidacy for the world’s top football job in Paris.
FIFA will hold an election on Feb. 26 to decide the replacement for incumbent boss Sepp Blatter who is resigning over corruption scandals that have seen several FIFA officials arrested or indicted.
The 63-year-old Chung is a scion of the South Korean conglomerate Hyundai Group. He’s also a former legislator and a presidential candidate. He served as a FIFA vice president from 1994 to 2011, and as the chairman of the Korea Football Association from 1993 to 2009.