Soccer

Bin Hammam fights for position

2012-01-23 21:08
Mohamed bin Hammam (File)

Lausanne - An appeal by former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam's to stop the Asian Football Confederation from replacing him as president was heard by sport's highest court on Monday.

Bin Hammam didn't attend the Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing, and his American lawyer, Eugene Gulland, declined comment to reporters.

The Qatari official appealed to block the AFC from appointing an interim president while he tries to overturn a lifetime ban from football imposed by FIFA for allegedly bribing Caribbean voters.

Chinese official Zhang Jilong has been running the Asian body and took the seat on FIFA's executive committee which Bin Hammam had held since 1996.

CAS arbitrator Denis Oswald, a member of the three-lawyer panel judging the case, said after the court session that both sides made "good arguments."

"We heard different submissions by the parties," said Oswald, "but they will supplement their overall submissions in writing, so we will have to wait a few more weeks until we have everything available."

Bin Hammam, who led Asian football since 2002, has insisted on being allowed to try to clear his name quickly.

Under AFC statutes, which allow the position of president to be vacant for only one year, an extraordinary congress and election must be held if Bin Hammam's appeals aren't resolved by May 29.

Bin Hammam denies wrongdoing, and has claimed that FIFA President Sepp Blatter helped orchestrate the bribery scandal to ensure a fourth four-year term leading football's world governing body.

Blatter won the election unopposed last June, three days after Bin Hammam was provisionally suspended while FIFA investigated claims by Caribbean officials that they were offered $40 000 cash gifts to sway their votes.

CAS has yet to set a date for Bin Hammam's appeal against FIFA.

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