Mohamed bin Hammam, the scandal-tainted former Fifa presidential candidate whose life ban was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport this week, said he wants to walk away from football.
The 63-year-old, who was accused of offering cash bribes to buy Fifa delegate votes during campaigning to unseat long-standing president Sepp Blatter last year, said he wanted to quit due to ‘jealousy’ within the sport.
“My wish now is just to quit and retire,” said the Qatari, who was this week suspended as the head of the Asian Football Confederation for 30 days over fresh corruption allegations. “Frankly speaking, my wish now is to quit. I served football that long, more than 42 years, and the last year really I have seen a very bad, very ugly face of football, you know, jealousy. I just wish to leave football.”
Asian football officials could not be reached for comment, while Peter Velappan, who was AFC general secretary for 30 years and bin Hamma’s bitter rival, declined to comment.
Bin Hammam won his appeal on Thursday at the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport against a life ban from all football-related activity over the bribery allegations.
But a three-member panel that considered the case stopped short of exonerating him. Bin Hammam has denied any wrongdoing, saying cash hand-outs he made during the election were merely gifts, and describing the charges and his punishment by Fifa as politically motivated.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2012.
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