Chung backs Bin Hammam in FIFA presidential race

SEOUL (Reuters) - Mohamed Bin Hammam received a boost to his campaign to become FIFA president when he was backed by his former foe and ex-FIFA executive committee member Chung Mong-joon Tuesday.

Bin Hammam sat alongside as Dr Chung, who famously questioned the Qatari's mental health two years ago at the Asian Football Confederation Congress, said he was the right man for the job.

"We welcome the candidacy of Asian Football Confederation president Mohammed Bin Hammam," Chung told reporters at a media conference in Seoul.

"Blatter has served as FIFA secretary general and president for 30 years. Now it's time for him to give way to a new person."

Chung, who surprisingly lost his FIFA vice-president seat to Prince Ali of Jordan at the AFC Congress in January, remains an influential figure in world soccer having been part of the FIFA executive committee since 1994 and his family owning the giant Hyundai conglomerate.

The Korean, honorary chairman of the Korean Football Association (KFA), was once considered a possible challenger to Blatter at the June 1 FIFA congress in Zurich and his presence in Bin Hammam's campaign could help sway votes.

Bin Hammam, who is touring the world canvassing support, launched his bid to become the first Asian president of FIFA two weeks ago in Kuala Lumpur when he revealed a manifesto based on making the organization more open to the public.

Chung questioned Blatter's popularity.

"In terms of finances, FIFA is more successful than the (International Olympic Committee) IOC and the president should be admired, beloved and respected but Blatter is not.

"I can't say Bin Hammam is perfect but he is the right candidate to bring change and revolution to FIFA."

(Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; Editing by Mark Meadows)