News24

Lifetime ban for Bin Hammam

2011-07-23 20:07

Zurich - Asian football supremo Mohamed bin Hammam was on Saturday banned from the game for life after being found guilty of corruption following a two-day hearing of FIFA's ethics committee.

The 62-year-old Qatari, the president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), had been accused of trying to buy votes in the FIFA presidential election with $40 000 cash gifts to Caribbean football officials.

"The official Mr Bin Hammam is hereby banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national or international level for life," announced ethics committee deputy chairman Petrus Damaseb.

Bin Hammam did not attend the hearing, which took place behind closed doors at FIFA headquarters in Zurich, but the head of his legal team, Eugene Gulland, read out a statement from him after the verdict was announced.

"Mr Bin Hammam rejects the findings of the FIFA ethics committee hearing and maintains his innocence," said Gulland. "He will continue to fight his case through the legal routes that are open to him.

"He has gone on record and he maintains that the FIFA ethics committee was going to find against him whatever the validity of the case that he presented to them.

"The FIFA ethics committee has apparently based its decision on so-called 'circumstantial evidence', which our case has clearly demonstrated was bogus and founded on lies told by senior FIFA officials."

Whistle-blowers said Bin Hammam tried to bribe officials to vote for him by distributing cash-stuffed envelopes during a Caribbean Football Union (CFU) meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on May 10-11.

CFU officials Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester, also being investigated by the ethics committee over claims they helped hand out the money, were each banned from football-related activity for a year.

In addition, Damaseb revealed that the committee had rejected an accusation of racial discrimination made by CFU members against CONCACAF general secretary Chuck Blazer, who sparked the initial investigation into the bribery claims.

However, Blazer was warned by the ethics committee over comments made at a CONCACAF meeting on May 30 that certain CFU members were "under investigation", which FIFA said was "not true".

Former FIFA vice-president and CONCACAF president Jack Warner was also charged over his alleged role in the affair, but his resignation from FIFA last month prompted the organisation to drop all the charges against him.

Damaseb admitted that Warner's absence from the proceedings was a matter of regret.

"Mr Jack Warner chose to resign and by that action he placed himself beyond the jurisdiction of this committee," said Damaseb.

"Everyone would have wanted him to appear and face the charges and explain his conduct, but he chose not to do that."

Damaseb also said that the evidence reviewed by the committee during the hearing had yielded grounds for investigations into the conduct of other parties, but he did not reveal who they were.

Bin Hammam's withdrawal from the presidential election gifted a fourth straight term in office to his former ally Sepp Blatter, who made cleaning up FIFA's tarnished image a post-election priority.

A key figure in Qatar's stunning victory in the contest to host the 2022 World Cup, Bin Hammam had previously dismissed the charges against him as "politically motivated".

Writing on his personal blog on Friday, he pledged to seek justice "through the FIFA Ethics Committee, the Court of Arbitration for Sport or, if necessary, through other courts or legal proceedings".

AFP

Comments
  • OZNOB - 2011-07-23 20:32

    strange that sepp blatter hasgot given the job to clean up soccer as far as i can see he is very resistant to change of any sort

      Marshall - 2011-07-23 21:32

      FIFA really appears to be a legal loophole organised crime brotherhood organisation. Can't trust any of them. They need to be reminded that they do not own football, but are simply a governing body created to ensure unilateral coordination, promotion, and application of the beautiful game.

  • wood - 2011-07-23 20:32

    Call me a cynic but this guy´s biggest `crime`was not corruption but daring to challenge Blatter for the FIFA top role. If corruption, moral or venal was the criterion and a similar punishment applied then I suspect the FIFA headquarters would be a pretty empty building.

      OZNOB - 2011-07-23 21:16

      AS I SAID BEFORE HE IS RESISTANT TO CHANGE - INCLUDED IS CHANGING HIS JOB

      grant9 - 2011-07-24 09:31

      Very well said Mr Wood !

  • TypicalDarkie - 2011-07-23 20:45

    makes u wonder what the current fifa president has hiding in his closet

      R.Suppards - 2011-07-23 21:52

      Julius Malema

      TypicalDarkie - 2011-07-24 07:59

      You cant hide Julius Malema he is too loud and doesnt know how to shut up

      grant9 - 2011-07-24 09:35

      It would have to be an effing big closet to fit Malema in !

  • Marcell - 2011-07-24 03:22

    How did Qatar manage to get to host the WC if it wasn't due to bribery?

  • majordad.007 - 2011-07-24 08:24

    Jack Warner is still accountable, even after the fact. Until proven guilty (or NOT!)

      grant9 - 2011-07-24 09:39

      Quite right. Why have FIFA not had criminal charges reported? I'll answer that. Because they are all criminals !

  • Bandleader - 2011-07-24 08:48

    FIFA Ethics Committee is a contradiction in terms; FIFA and Ethics can't be used in the same sentence! Blatter has never been caught because he's too clever for that. It is convenient for FIFA to ban Bin Hammam, since it removes him from challenging Sepp's rule. This will be a long, protracted series of court proceedings, which may end up with reinstatement, but only once Sepp's done with FIFA.

      grant9 - 2011-07-24 09:46

      >>FIFA Ethics Committee is a contradiction in terms; FIFA and Ethics can't be used in the same sentence! << You beat me to it. I was going to post 'the oxymoron of the year'. (Well, I supose I have now)

  • Hayden - 2011-07-24 08:52

    Everybody is corrupt including FIFA itself

      peter the gr - 2011-07-24 18:15

      Are the related to the ANC?? Could well be.......

  • BardofAvon - 2011-07-24 18:56

    Awww... he was only trying to take soccer to the people...

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