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Sun Apr 20 05:15:03 SAST 2014

Bin Hammam banned again as FIFA starts new probe

Reuters | 27 July, 2012 08:350 Comments
Asian Football Confederation president Mohamed bin Hammam during a press conference to announce Australia's push to join the Asian Confederation for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, at the Park Hyatt March 26, 2005 Sydney, Australia
Image by: Robert Cianflone / Getty Images

Former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam has been provisionally suspended by soccer’s governing body only a week after his life ban for bribery was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

FIFA said in a statement that Bin Hammam would be banned for 90 days while its ethics committee assessed the prospects of collecting further evidence over allegations that he tried to bribe Caribbean officials in the run-up to last year’s election.

  It will also investigate allegations of financial wrongdoing while he was head of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

  Qatari Bin Hammam has already been suspended for 30 days by the AFC while it investigates the latter case.

  CAS last week upheld Bin Hammam’s appeal against a life ban, saying FIFA’s evidence had been insufficient.

  However, it said the decision was not “an affirmative finding of innocence” for Bin Hammam, and that the case could be re-opened with new evidence.

  Bin Hammam, a former member of FIFA’s executive committee, challenged Sepp Blatter for the presidency of soccer’s world ruling body last year.

  He withdrew his candidacy, and was then provisionally suspended, days before the June election over allegations that he had tried to buy the votes of Caribbean officials by handing them $40000 each in brown envelopes at a meeting in Port of Spain.

  Blatter was subsequently re-elected unopposed for a fourth term as FIFA president, while Bin Hammam was found guilty of breaking seven articles of FIFA’s ethics code, including one on bribery.

  He was banned for life and lost an appeal at FIFA, before taking his case to CAS.

  Proceedings against former CONCACAF president Jack Warner, also present at the meeting in Trinidad & Tobago, were dropped after he resigned his post.

  FIFA has recently given more strength to its ethics committee and divided it into two separate chambers, each headed by a leading crime-fighter.

  The investigative chamber is headed by Michael Garcia, a former United States attorney, and the adjudicatory chamber is headed by Hans-Joachim Eckert, a German judge.

  Bin Hammam said last week that he intended to quit soccer, saying he had seen its ugly face.

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