SINGAPORE - Mohammed Bin Hammam's
suspension from FIFA was greeted with a wall of silence in Asia
as football figures in the region took stock in the aftermath of
Sunday's stunning turn of events.
Asian football head Bin Hammam and Jack Warner, president of
CONCACAF, were suspended over bribery allegations in the worst
corruption scandal to blight the sport's governing body, while
FIFA's Ethics Committee cleared President Sepp Blatter of any
CONCACAF is the confederation representing North, Central
American and Caribbean Association Football.
Hours earlier, Qatari Bin Hammam had ended his campaign to
unseat Blatter, and the Swiss is now free to stand unopposed for
a fourth term in charge of FIFA in Wednesday's election.
Bin Hammam and Warner were accused of arranging to pay
delegates of the Caribbean Football Union $40,000 in cash to
vote for Blatter's only rival. The case against Warner and Bin
Hammam, who have denied any wrongdoing, will be heard in July.
Warner was furious at the outcome and told Reuters he had
been the victim of a kangaroo court, while Bin Hammam said he
was very disappointed about the way the status of the proceeding
has been presented at a news conference.
"I am expecting that this will continue," he said. "This is
not how I understand fair play. I'm reserving all my rights."
As the news was digested in Asia, Thailand's Worawi Makudi - a member of FIFA's elite executive committee and a long-time
ally of bin Hammam - declined to comment when contacted by
Reuters on Monday.
Worawi was one of four accused of corruption relating to
World Cup bids last year but on Sunday FIFA's Secretary General
Jerome Valcke said they were completely clean.
South Korea's Football Association made no comment while
Korean football figurehead Chung Mong-joon, a former foe turned
friend of bin Hammam, could not immediately be reached.
Australia, who lost out to Qatar in the race to host the
2022 World Cup, said they may make a statement later on Monday,
while the Japanese FA said nobody at headquarters was in a
position to comment.
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