Bin Hammam banned for life
Monday, 25th July 2011 at 10:38am
Bin Hammam banned for life
Qatari national Mohammad Bin Hammam - the man largely credited with helping Qatar win the right to host the 2022 Fifa World Cup has been banned from football for life after being found guilty of attempted bribery.
The decision was made on Saturday (July 23) after Fifa's ethics committee found the former Fifa presidential candidate guilty after a two-day hearing.
The Qatari was accused of trying to buy votes ahead of the presidential election which took place at the beginning of last month.
Bin Hammam, who on Friday blogged that he felt the decision to ban him had already been made by the committee, has vowed to take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in a bid to clear his name and have the decision overturned.
The findings off the Fifa ethics committee and subsequent banning of Bin Hammam means the Qatari is the most senior official to be banned in the governing body's 107-year history.
A little more than half a year ago Bin Hammam was celebrating Qatar's unlikely victory in the battle to host the 2022 World Cup; just four months ago he announced that he would challenge current incumbent Sepp Blatter for the presidency.
The 62-year-old subsequently withdrew from the presidential race just days before the vote following accusations of bribery from Fifa Executive Committee (ExCo) member Chuck Blazer, leaving Blatter to be re-elected unopposed.
The result means that Bin Hammam is not allowed to partake "in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level for life", according to Fifa ethics committee deputy chairman Petrus Damaseb.
The decision is unlikely to signal an end to the matter as Bin Hammam's legal council said that the former head of the Asian Football Federation will continue to fight to prove his innocence.
A statement released to the press said: "The Fifa ethics committee has apparently based its decision upon so called 'circumstantial' evidence which our case has clearly demonstrated was bogus and founded on lies told by a senior Fifa official.
"We have strictly observed the legal rules regarding the confidentiality of these proceedings and not shared our evidence, which is compelling, with the media.
"Fifa, either directly or through third parties, appears to have done the opposite with selective and continual leaking of documentation that has been part of these proceedings to the media in order to influence public opinion and create bias.
"We are confident of the strength of our case and invite Fifa to make available now to the media a full transcript of these proceedings."
Hammam was originally suspended along with former Fifa ExCo member and Vice-president Jack Warner when a leaked report revealed that officials of four Caribbean nations were allegedly offered money in exchange for their vote at a meeting in May or were aware that the offence occurred and didn't report it.
Envelopes stuffed with up to 25,000 (B1.25 million) were alleged to have been handed out during the meeting in Trinidad and Tobago.
Warner subsequently resigned from his position within Fifa and, as a result, will not have to face the ethics committee.
Two other members of the Caribbean Football Union - Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester - were banned from football for a year for their involvement in the attempted bribery.