LAUSANNE: Mohamed Bin Hammam – the most loyal client of the Court of Arbitration for Sport – has lost the latest rounds of the ongoing saga pitting the 63-year-old Qatari against the world and Asian football authorities writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
A statement from FIFA recorded merely: “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected the request for provisional and conservatory measures lodged by Mohammed Bin Hammam against the decision pronounced by the FIFA Appeal Committee on 17 August 2012, which confirmed the previous decision of the Chairman of the Adjudicatory Chamber of the Ethics Committee provisionally banning Mohammed Bin Hammam for a period of 90 days.”
In making the information known, FIFA was ahead of CAS itself.
Bin Hammam has been wading through the various sporting courts and appeal courts ever since he was banned for life in August last year by FIFA after allegations of bribery over his attempt to oust Sepp Blatter as FIFA president.
That ban was overturned in July this year by the Court of Arbitration for Sport but Bin Hammam was then suspended provisionally by the AFC over allegations that he misused its funds while president.
A first AFC suspension was for 30 days, the second for 20 days while it pondered an audit into the finance issue by PricewaterhouseCoopers. This claimed that Bin Hammam had used more than $1m out of AFC accounts for private payments to friends and family.
Simultaneously FIFA suspended Bin Hammam worldwide for 90 days from July 26 until October 24 because ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia needed all the time he could find to consider both the PwC report and how to respond to Bin Hammam’s overturning of his life ban.
In mid-October FIFA opened a further inquiry into claims that Bin Hammam had breached the terms of the provisional suspension, believed to concern the manner in which he was contacting senior football officials. FIFA’s ethics president, Hans-Joachim Eckert, then acted within the code of conduct provisions to extend the ban for a further 45 days.
Bin Hammam denies any wrongdoing. He has insisted his financial dealings were transparent. He says all payments were signed off with full and proper supervision and knowledge of senior AFC finance officers.
Business associates have told this writer that Bin Hammam believed he had a right to access official accounts because the sums were merely repayments against an earlier personal loan of his own to the AFC.
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