CAS rejects Bin Hammam ban appeal - FIFA
01 Nov 2012
FIFA has announced that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected former presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam’s appeal against his latest ban from football.
FIFA stated in August that the chairman of the investigatory chamber of its Ethics Committee, Michael J. Garcia, formally opened new investigation proceedings against Bin Hammam. These proceedings followed the provisional banning of the former Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president for 90 days as established by the Ethics Committee on July 26. Former FBI director Louis Freeh had led FIFA’s probe into allegations that Bin Hammam attempted to bribe voters during last year’s FIFA presidential election campaign – an investigation that resulted in FIFA issuing a life ban to the Qatari official. This decision was overturned by CAS in July, but FIFA’s new 90-day ban was extended by a further 45 days last week.
Bin Hammam had appealed in mid-October against that ban, but FIFA said in a statement on Wednesday: “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected the request for provisional and conservatory measures lodged by Mohammed Bin Hammam against the decision pronounced by the FIFA Appeal Committee on 17 August 2012, which confirmed the previous decision of the chairman of the Adjudicatory Chamber of the Ethics Committee provisionally banning Mohammed Bin Hammam for a period of 90 days.”
In its original ruling, CAS had said the decision to annul Bin Hammam’s life ban was not “an affirmative finding of innocence” and that the case could be reopened with new evidence. Acting AFC president Zhang Jilong last month hit out at the “intimidation” tactics employed by Bin Hammam amid the ongoing investigation into alleged financial malpractice committed by the Qatari. Responding to a letter dated October 8 from Bin Hammam through his lawyer Eugene Gulland, Zhang said the suspended official was trying to “intimidate and create technical legal issues and objections in the hope that the more serious allegations of secret commissions, bribery, corruption and other wrongdoings are never exposed to the light of day.” The AFC in July announced Bin Hammam had been handed a new suspension for “possible violations” of its statutes, disciplinary code and code of ethics. Bin Hammam is fighting suspension as both the AFC president and a member of FIFA’s Executive Committee and has continually maintained his innocence against the allegations laid against him. The former AFC chief claims his punishments are politically motivated after he challenged Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency last year.