KUALA LUMPUR: Mohamed Bin Hammam has had his provisional Asian suspension extended for 20 days by the AFC as it continues an investigation into allegations of financial impropriety writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The 63-year-old Qatari was suspended initially by the Asian confederation at almost the same time as his appeal against a lifetime ban from football was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
An audit undertaken by PricewaterCoopers claimed that Bin Hammam had lavished AFC funds on friends and family. Bin Hammam, happy to have cleared his name vis-a-vis FIFA, has denied any wrongdoing.
The disciplinary statutes of the AFC enabled in to impose an initial 30-day ban on Bin Hammam with the possibility of a further 20 days. This is the option which has now been enacted.
Meanwhile, demonstrating the chaos into which the game’s leaders have been cast, Bin Hammam has been suspended worldwide by FIFA for 90 days both while it considers the PwC audit and considers the consequences of the CAS ruling.
A statement from the AFC said that its own suspension of Bin Hammam had been extended by order of Lim Kia Tong, chairman of the AFC disciplinary committee, on Wednesday, one day before the 30-day ban had been due to expire.
Bin Hammam, who has insisted he will shortly announce further steps to challenge ‘this clear abuse of power and process at the hand of FIFA,’ was voted in for a third and final four year term as the president of the AFC in January last year before launching an election challenge to FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
He withdrew his candidacy and was then provisionally suspended, days before the June election over allegations that he had tried to buy the votes of Caribbean officials by handing them $40,000 each in brown envelopes at a meeting in Port of Spain.
Blatter was subsequently re-elected unopposed for a fourth term as FIFA president.
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