News24

Bin Hammam wants fair hearing

2011-07-07 17:50

London - Mohamed bin Hammam on Thursday expressed his hope that he will receive a fair hearing when he goes before FIFA's ethics committee to face bribery charges later this month.

The 62-year-old Qatari has been suspended since May following allegations that he attempted to bribe Caribbean football officials to vote for him in the FIFA presidential election.

Writing on his personal website, Bin Hammam complained about "continuous leaks of confidential information" but said: "I am still looking for and hoping to receive a fair hearing - one which will not be influenced by any political agenda or motivation."

Bin Hammam and former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner were suspended when a leaked report revealed four Caribbean Football Union (CFU) associations were offered money or saw the offence occurring during a meeting on May 10-11.

"These proceedings were initiated based on the allegations of vote buying," Bin Hammam added.

"I hope that, by now, the investigation has identified whether or not there had been attempts by me - directly or indirectly - to buy votes, particularly from those who claimed to have received these monies.

"I hope that the decision will be made solely by the members of this committee and based solely on the facts presented and not based on assumptions or the wishes of people outside the committee."

Bin Hammam's comments fell on the same day that Britain's The Guardian newspaper claimed fresh evidence against the Qatari had emerged during the course of FIFA investigations, led by former FBI director Louis Freeh.

According to the paper, a further five associations have told Freeh that they were offered $40,000 in brown paper envelopes in return for their votes in the presidential election.

Bin Hammam, the former president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), will appear before FIFA's ethics committee on July 22 after world football's governing body announced on Wednesday that it had finished its investigation.

The ethics committee will also hear the cases of Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester, the two CFU officials who were also suspended along with Warner.

Warner has since stepped down from all football activities, prompting FIFA to drop their investigation into the allegations against him.

Bin Hammam's withdrawal from the presidential race saw incumbent president Sepp Blatter voted in unopposed for a fourth term at the head of football's most powerful organisation.

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