KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Najeeb Chirakal, a long-time aide to banned Asian football supremo Mohamed bin Hammam, should be banned from football for life according to a new FIFA ethics investigation.

The recommendation has been delivered to FIFA ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert by investigator Vanessa Allard who considered Chirakal guilty for a range of ethics code violations included bribery and corruption.’

Chirakal was widely considered within the game to be the “gatekeeper” to Bin Hammam, the Qatari who had tried to challenge Sepp Blatter in the 2011 FIFA presidential election before being suspended in a cash-for votes scandal.

Bin Hammam was later banned for life, appealed successfully to the Court of Arbitration for Sport but was then banned again for misuse of Asian Football Confederation funds.

As for Chirakal, he was orginally banned for two months in October 2012 for failing to assist the investigations into Bin Hammam’s activities.

However a year later Chirakal was back in business and describing himself as an “international affairs executive” on behalf of the Qatar Football Assoication. Later he was reportedly working on behalf of the Qatari national Olympic committee,

A statement from the FIFA ethics committee set out seven categories of allegations against Chirakal who has always denied wrongdoing.

Allard, from Trinidad & Tobago, has been a member of the FIFA ethics committee since 2013. Her previous investigations included the one which led to the banning from football of the then UEFA president Michel Platini.

FIFA ethics statement:

Vanessa Allard, a member of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee and the chief of investigation, has concluded her enquiry into the activities of Najeeb Chirakal, and submitted the final report together with recommendations to the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, which is chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert.

The investigation concerning Mr Chirakal focused mainly on his involvement in payments to several football officials.

In her final report, Ms Allard has recommended imposing on Mr Chirakal a lifelong ban on taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) for the alleged violation of articles 13 (general rules of conduct), 18 (duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting), 19 (conflicts of interest), 20 (offering and accepting gifts and other benefits), 21 (bribery and corruption), 41 (obligation of the parties to collaborate) and 42 (general obligation to collaborate) of the FIFA Code of Ethics.

Until a formal decision is taken by the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, Mr Chirakal is presumed innocent.

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