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FIFA's Valcke Says Qatar World Cup Remarks Misinterpreted

Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar is pictured through the window of a limousine upon his arrival at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, May 29, 2011

The secretary-general of football's governing body said Monday that an email he sent saying Qatar "bought" its successful bid for the 2022 World Cup has been misinterpreted.

FIFA's Jerome Valcke said his email, sent to another FIFA official, was referring to Qatar's big campaign budget and not to ongoing investigations of FIFA officials concerning possible corruption in the bid process.

Valcke's comments came as Qatar's Mohamed bin Hammam is appealing his suspension by football's governing body over bribery allegations.

The Qatari head of the Asian Football Confederation said Monday he wants the order by the FIFA ethics committee lifted ahead of a FIFA congress meeting this week.

Bin Hammam withdrew late Saturday from the election to head FIFA, just hours before facing the ethics committee on the corruption allegation. The committee on Sunday temporarily banned him from participating in all activities related to football.

Bin Hammam's withdrawal for the FIFA presidency likely clears the way for incumbent Sepp Blatter of Switzerland to continue his long-time rule of the organization.

Bin Hammam and Blatter, along with FIFA Vice President Jack Warner, have been accused of corruption linked to the federation's election campaign.

Bin Hammam and Warner have denied wrongdoing, while the ethics committee on Sunday cleared Blatter.

The election to head football's governing body is scheduled for Wednesday.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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