Bin Hammam blasts Fifa ban

Mohammed bin Hammam withdrew from the Fifa election before the ethics committee hearing. (FILE)

One-time Fifa presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar on Sunday blasted a decision by the body’s ethics committee to suspend him and vice-president Jack Warner.

The committee of world football’s governing body, under the chairmanship of Namibian Petrus Damaseb, earlier interviewed bin Hammam, Warner and Blatter on a dramatic day that began with bin Hammam withdrawing from the presidential election in which he was Blatter’s sole opponent.

Bin Hammam acknowledged the decision but said he could not understand the logic of it, with Fifa indicating he has not been found guilty of wrongdoing.

“I have been referred to the Ethics Committee based on evidence which was strong enough in the views of the Fifa General Secretary for such procedure,” he said in a statement late on Sunday.

“However, the Ethics Committee in its meeting today did not find this evidence sufficient to convict me.

“Consequently, I should have been given the benefit of doubt but instead, I have been banned from all football activities.

“I have been given the impression that the Ethics Committee is absolutely an independent committee, but in the press conference we have seen today, the General Secretary made clear that he is the one who has the influence in this Committee.”

At the Fifa press conference, general secretary Jerome Valcke unveiled what bin Hammam saw as new evidence, which had not been part of the committee proceedings and therefore had not been reviewed.

In his statement, bin Hammam said he saw that as running counter to the logic of an independent commission.

“I’m very disappointed about the way the status of the proceeding has been presented at the media conference. I am expecting that this will continue. This is not how I understand fair play. I’m reserving all my rights.”

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