Bin Hammam appeal date set

2011-09-08 13:19

Zurich - Mohamed bin Hammam's appeal to FIFA against his life ban from football for bribery will be heard next week, the governing body said Thursday.

Bin Hammam is challenging a July 23 ruling by FIFA's ethics committee that he arranged to bribe Caribbean voters with $40 000 to back his later abandoned election campaign against FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

The Qatari official has said he expects FIFA's appeal panel, which meets next Thursday in Zurich, to confirm his conviction.

"I have submitted my case to the FIFA Appeals Committee, not hoping for justice to prevail but as a protocol to enable me to obtain access to the Court of Arbitration of Sport," bin Hammam wrote on his personal website two weeks ago. "After all, the panel from the appeals committee is decided by my opponent and in this case, as previously, the judge is the rival. Therefore, I should not exaggerate my hope for a fair decision."

The FIFA appeals chairman Larry Mussenden, a former attorney general of Bermuda, has recused himself from bin Hammam's case because he gave evidence in the investigation.

Bermuda football officials were among the original whistleblowers from four Caribbean Football Union member countries who told FIFA they were offered $40 000 cash payments at bin Hammam's campaign rally in Trinidad on May 10.

One of Mussenden's two deputies, Madagascar federation president Ahmad and Solomon Islands lawyer Charles Ashley, is likely to chair the appeal inquiry.

Bin Hammam could choose to skip the hearing after declining to attend his ethics hearing which he denounced as a "kangaroo court" after being convicted. He was represented by lawyers from the United States and Switzerland.

Bin Hammam ended his election bid days before the June vote, then FIFA imposed a provisional suspension which removed him from its executive committee and as AFC president.

The FIFA panel hearing bin Hammam's case is unlikely to include appeals committee member Moucharafou Anjorin.

The Benin football federation president has been jailed during an investigation into alleged embezzlement of $650 000 (€463 000) of sponsorship income.