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Bin Hammam pleads with CAS

2011-11-21 22:28

Lausanne - Mohamed bin Hammam has asked sport's highest court to overturn his life ban imposed by FIFA for alleged election bribery.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Monday it has registered Bin Hammam's appeal. No date has been set for the hearing.

Bin Hammam will seek a verdict by next May, when the Asian Football Confederation would be legally bound to replace him as president by electing a new leader.

FIFA expelled Bin Hammam from football in July after its ethics committee found him guilty of attempting to bribe Caribbean voters during his election challenge to FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

The Qatari candidate withdrew his bid after the scandal emerged in May. Whistleblowers from four Caribbean football federations said they were offered $40 000 in cash-filled envelopes after attending Bin Hammam's campaign pitch in Trinidad.

FIFA's appeal panel rejected Bin Hammam's first challenge to his sentence in September.

Bin Hammam then said on Twitter that he would proceed to CAS "where from now on I will be equal to my rival."

He denies wrongdoing and has claimed Blatter orchestrated the scandal to ensure he received a fourth four-year term leading football's world governing body.

Bin Hammam has already lost one case at CAS in fallout from the alleged bribery plot.

The court rejected Bin Hammam's attempt to stop the AFC appointing an interim president while he fights the ban.

Chinese official Zhang Jilong has stepped in to lead the Asian governing body and take Bin Hammam's vacated seat on the FIFA executive committee.

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, 2012.

Bin Hammam can pursue a further right of appeal beyond CAS at Switzerland's supreme court, though that process would likely take several months to complete.

SAPA