DOHA - Banned Asian football president
Mohamed Bin Hammam launched an appeal against his lifetime ban
by FIFA but said in a strongly-worded statement on Thursday that
he did not expect to clear his name yet despite the decision
being 'hugely flawed.'
The 62-year-old Qatari was given a lifetime ban from football
by the world governing body last month after being found guilty
of bribing Caribbean officials during his bid to oust incumbent
FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
In a statement on his personal blog, the former Asian
Football Confederation (AFC) president said he had appealed
after FIFA released the motivated decisions of the Ethics
Committee, who banned him, last week.
"I have submitted my case to the FIFA Appeals Committee, not
hoping for justice to prevail but as a protocol to enable me to
obtain access to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS)," the
"After all, the panel from the Appeals Committee is decided
by my opponent and in this case, as previously, the judge is the
rival. Therefore, I should not exaggerate hope for a fair
"Going through the motivated decisions, we found them to be
deeply flawed and raises grave doubts on whether any
decision-making body of FIFA has sufficient independence to
ensure a fair decision based solely on evidence and applicable
"Based on our experiences, we expect the appeal process and
decision to take approximately two months, not because this time
is necessarily needed but more due to FIFA's tactical games and
abuse of power, as evident throughout this case."
Bin Hammam faces a race against time if he wants to return
to the role of AFC president, a role he has held since 2002.
Last month, acting president AFC president Zhang Jilong of
China said after their executive committee meeting in Kuala
Lumpur that they would not be able to replace Bin Hammam until
after May 30.
The events that led to Bin Hammam being banned all centered
on a meeting of Caribbean officials in Port of Spain, Trinidad,
on May 10-11.
Former CONCACAF president Jack Warner, a major FIFA
powerbroker, resigned in June after he was also accused of
wrongdoing at the meeting.
Like Bin Hammam, Warner was provisionally banned pending the
ethics committee investigation into allegations that Caribbean
officials were handed $40,000 each in brown envelopes as a
Bin Hammam then pulled out of the FIFA presidential race on
May 29, leaving Blatter to be re-elected unopposed for a fourth
term three days later.
"When I was suspended on 29 May on charges of bribery and
vote buying, it was supposedly based on strong evidence in the
investigation conducted by Collins and Collins and directed by [FIFA General Secretary] Jerome Valcke and [CONCACAF General Secretary and FIFA Executive Committee member] Chuck Blazer.
"Yet despite the alleged strong evidence conclusive enough
to justify my suspension and deprived me of going to the
Congress and running as a FIFA Presidential candidate
surprisingly enough, FIFA went for another investigation again,
this time by Freeh group, to look for evidence which they never
had in the first instance to suspend me.
"But as I have vowed before, I will not rest no matter what
tactical delays, forgery or bias are put against me.
"I will continue my battle until I prove my innocence and
that my suspension was a political decision and an absolute
abuse of power to deprive me of my right to contest for [the]
"In the army, they execute the order first, and then
discuss. In FIFA, they suspend first, and then look for
evidence," Bin Hammam said.
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