ZURICH - Mohamed Bin Hammam will face an
ethics investigation just days before he is due to challenge
Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency after a report from within
the organisation's executive committee alleged possible bribery.
FIFA said on Wednesday it had begun ethical proceedings
against Bin Hammam, the Qatari head of the Asian Football
Confederation, along with CONCACAF president Jack Warner and two
All four have been summoned to appear before FIFA's ethics
committee on Sunday, three days before the vote for the most
powerful job in world soccer, in response to a report from Chuck
Blazer, CONCACAF's general secretary, and another executive
Bin Hammam and Warner issued statements denying any
FIFA said Blazer's report, which included "bribery
allegations", referred to a Caribbean Football Union (CFU)
meeting attended by Warner and Bin Hammam on May 10/11 and was
linked to the election campaign.
Bin Hammam strongly denied any wrongdoing and said he was
confident he would still be allowed to stand in the June 1 vote,
when he is the only challenger to Blatter.
"This has been a difficult and painful day for me today,"
Bin Hammam said in a statement. "But, if there is even the
slightest justice in the world, these allegations will vanish in
"This move is little more than a tactic being used by those
who have no confidence in their own ability to emerge
successfully from the FIFA presidential election.
"Here I completely deny any allegations of wrongdoing either
intentionally or unknowingly while I was in the Caribbean.
"I am confident that there is no charge to answer and that I
will be free to stand in the FIFA presidential election on June
1 as originally planned."
Warner was quoted on The Daily Telegraph website as telling the British newspaper he "was
unaware of any wrongdoing on my part" and implied the charges
were linked to the presidential election, in which Blatter is
standing for a fourth term.
"I take note of the initiative by FIFA'S Ethics Committee
and confirm that I have been invited to attend a hearing this
week Sunday, May 29, 2011 in Zurich," Warner told the newspaper.
"I am unaware of the particulars of the matter being
investigated by FIFA at this time, so I will therefore abstain
from any comment until such time as I have been made aware of
all that has been submitted to FIFA.
"It is interesting to note the timing of these allegations
and the hearing scheduled days before the FIFA presidential
"As this is now a formal procedure, I shall not be offering
any further comment prior to the hearing on Sunday."
The meeting referred to by FIFA was organised so Bin Hammam
could state his election case to delegates. He had been unable
to attend the CONCACAF Congress in Miami on May 3 after being
denied a visa for the United States.
Bin Hammam has used the campaign to call for reform at FIFA,
which has been mired in claims of corruption surrounding last
year's vote to choose hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Unlike last year's scandal, in which two executive committee
members were banned following investigations by Britain's Sunday
Times newspaper, the allegations came from within FIFA for the
CONCACAF, the North and Central America and Caribbean
Confederation, holds 35 of the 208 votes at the FIFA Congress
which will choose between Bin Hamman and incumbent president
Warner has always been regarded as a staunch Blatter
supporter but said his confederation had not yet chosen who it
would back this time.
FIFA would not comment on whether the election might now be
Spokesmen for Blatter and CONCACAF also said they would not
"On May 24, FIFA Executive Committee member and CONCACAF
general secretary Chuck Blazer reported to FIFA secretary
general Jerome Valcke possible violations of the FIFA code of
ethics allegedly committed by officials," FIFA said in a
"In view of the facts alleged in this report, which include
bribery allegations, Jerome Valcke requested the FIFA Ethics
Committee to open ethics proceedings."
FIFA added that the ethics committee would be headed by
Namibia's Petrus Damaseb as its usual chairman Claudio Sulser
shares the same nationality as Swiss Blatter.
CFU officials Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester have also
been asked to attend the ethics committee hearing.
Allegations of corruption and lack of transparency have
dogged FIFA since the campaign for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup
hosting rights, won by Russia and Qatar respectively.
Earlier this month, a British parliamentary inquiry into why
England failed to secure the 2018 finals was told by member of
parliament Damian Collins there was evidence from the Sunday
Times that Issa Hayatou of Cameroon and Jacques Anouma of the
Ivory Coast were paid by Qatar.
Qatar have categorically denied the allegations as have
Hayatou and Anouma.
Blatter, standing for a fourth term in the post he has held
since 1998, already has the support of Europe, Africa, South
America and Oceania.
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