ZURICH: Mohamed Bin Hammam, as expected, will not face further charges of having breached FIFA’s ethics code over events at his notorious presidential election campaign in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in May 2011 writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The 63-year-old Qatari has been under a provisional suspension from the world governing body since the summer over both the fall-out of the Port of Spain meeting and allegations that he misused funds of the Asian Football Confederation while its active president.
He has until mid-January to respond to the AFC cash claim.
Bin Hamman, who has consistently denied any wrongdoing, was banned for life by FIFA in 2011 over claims that he bribed delegates of Caribbean federations while challenging Sepp Blatter – in vain as it turned out – for the FIFA presidency.
This year he had that ban scrapped on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport but was then suspended temporarily by the world federation while its new prosecutor, Michael Garcia, reviewed and researched the Port of Spain case and investigated the AFC cash allegations.
The likelihood of any action re Port of Spain being revived was always slight since the original investigation had been wrapped up and other delegates disciplined. Bin Hammam’s lawyers would almost certainly have raised a complaint about double jeopardy.
Garcia’s latest assessment of the Port of Spain case reportedly states: “With respect to the events at the CFU conference, the investigation uncovered no new material proof beyond the substantial evidence presented during the proceedings that culminated with the CAS decision vacating Mr Bin Hammam’s ban.
“Accordingly, the Investigatory Chamber has closed this matter consistent with the CAS Panel’s guidance regarding newly discovered evidence.”
Bin Hammam is undertaking legal action to challenge his current suspension, imposed while Hans-Joachim Eckert, FIFA’s ‘ethics judge’ , considers a verdict and possible sentence regarding the misuse of funds issue, raised onm am audit undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
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