LAUSANNE: Mohamed Bin Hammam is in a race against time with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in his attempt to overturn a life ban from football ahead of his prospective final dismissal as head of the Asian confederation.
The Qatari was banished from all football last summer by the FIFA executive committee on the recommendation of the Ethics Committee after allegations that he sought to bribe delegates of the Caribbean Football Union to support his attempt to oust Sepp Blatter as FIFA president.
That decision prompted the Asian Football Confederation to replace him as its president by senior vice-president Zhang Jilong of China. However, AFC statutes ruled that it could not hold a formal presidential election until at least June of this year.
Bin Hammam’s initial bid to prevent the AFC replacing him was thrown out by CAS but a full hearing took place earlier this year. CAS is still preparing to deliver its definitive verdict.
In the meantime Bin Hammam had also appealed against the life ban and CAS has set aside April 18 and 19. Contenders for the presidency have already begun sounding out likely supporters and will want an election as soon as possible. One administrative issue now centres on whether Bin Hammam can be proposed for re-election before CAS rules on whether he can stand or not.
The Bin Hammam scandal – which also prompted CONCACAF president Jack Warner to walk away from football and led to a string of short bans and fines on CFU delegates – was a significant factor in FIFA launching a governance reform process.