ZURICH - Suspended Asian football chief
Mohamed Bin Hammam questioned whether he would be fairly treated
as a two-day hearing began on Friday into allegations he tried
to buy votes ahead of last month's FIFA presidential election.
Describing the case against him as "flimsy" the Qatari, who
pulled out of the presidential race over the allegations and was
then provisionally banned, said he would take the matter to the
Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) or civil courts if
"I am not confident the hearing will be conducted in the
manner any of us would like," Bin Hammam wrote on his personal
website as the hearing began behind closed doors at FIFA's
headquarters in a plush Zurich suburb.
"It seems likely FIFA already made its decision weeks ago.
So none of us should be completely surprised if a guilty verdict
FIFA's Ethics Committee are investigating whether Bin
Hammam, 62, bribed Caribbean Football Union (CFU) officials to
vote for him at the presidential election where Sepp Blatter was
re-elected unopposed for a fourth term following the Qatari's
Several members of the CFU said they were offered
inducements at a meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad on May 10-11
when CFU officials Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester are
alleged to have handed over envelopes containing the money.
Former CONCACAF president Jack Warner, like Bin Hammam a
FIFA Executive Committee member, was also suspended but the case
against him was dropped when he resigned last month.
"Following the events since my suspension it now seems
impossible for them (FIFA) to say they were wrong although I
wish they would have the courage to correct their mistake," said
Bin Hammam on Friday.
"Rest assured though that justice will eventually prevail
whether through the ethics committee, the Court of Arbitration
for Sport or, if necessary, through other courts or legal
proceedings in courts where we will be equal and no special
privileges will be granted to either party.
"I remain confident the case and the evidence presented
against me are weak and unsubstantiated," said Asian Football
Confederation president Bin Hammam.
"They are flimsy and will not stand up to scrutiny in any
court of law, that has been clear throughout this process and it
The committee, headed by Namibian judge Petrus Damaseb, is
due to reach a verdict on Saturday.
It will hear reports from a probe conducted by Freeh Group
International Europe, an investigative agency run by former FBI
head Louis Freeh.
Bin Hammam has been suspended from all football-related
activity since May 29 along with Minguell and Sylvester whose
cases were also being heard on Friday.
It was not known whether Bin Hammam attended the hearing. He
was not seen at the lakeside hotel often used by FIFA visitors,
nor at the headquarters of world football's governing body where
only a handful of media were present.
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