Sepp Blatter has branded as "ludicrous" claims that bribery charges against Mohamed Bin Hammam are an attempt to smear his opponent for the FIFA presidency.
Asian football chief Bin Hammam and Jack Warner are to appear before FIFA's ethics committee on Sunday to face the bribery allegations and both men have denied wrongdoing and suggested they are victims of an election tactic.
Blatter said however in his column on insideworldfootball.biz: "To now assume that the present ordeal of my opponent were to fill me with some sort of perverse satisfaction or that this entire matter was somehow masterminded by me is ludicrous and completely reprehensible.
"I am shocked, saddened and deeply unhappy about the charges levelled against a man whose friendship I enjoyed for many years. It gives me no pleasure to see him suffer public disgrace before an investigation would even have started."