ZURICH - Asian football chief Mohamed Bin
Hammam was banned for life on Saturday after being found guilty
by world football's ruling body of trying to buy votes ahead of
last month's FIFA presidential election.
The 62-year-old Qatari was found guilty by FIFA's Ethics Committee of bribery during a meeting with Caribbean officials
in Port of Spain, Trinidad in May, the committee's deputy
chairman Petrus Damaseb told reporters.
Caribbean Football Union (CFU) officials Debbie Minguell and
Jason Sylvester were each given one-year bans and Damaseb
recommended a further investigation be opened "into the conduct
of others who attended the meeting."
Lawyers for Bin Hammam, Asian Football Confederation (AFC)
president since 2002, said he rejected the verdict and would
"He maintains his innocence," Eugene Gulland told reporters.
"He will continue to fight his case through the legal routes
that are open to him.
"He has gone on record and maintains FIFA was going to find
against him whatever the validity of the case he presented to
"FIFA's Ethics Committee has apparently based its decision
on so-called circumstantial evidence which our case has clearly
demonstrated was bogus and founded on lies told by senior FIFA
officials," added Gulland.
Bin Hammam, who has also been on FIFA's Executive Committee
since 1996, withdrew his presidential candidacy on May 29 and
Swiss Sepp Blatter was re-elected unopposed for a fourth term
three days later.
Former CONCACAF president Jack Warner, provisionally banned
with Bin Hammam for his involvement in the Port of Spain
meeting, resigned in June and a case against him was dropped.
Bin Hammam could now take his case to FIFA's own appeals
committee and, if that fails, can then go to the Court of
Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
He must first wait for a detailed report of the ethics
committee process - expected to take several weeks - before he
can launch his appeal.
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