Football: AFC extends bin Hammam suspension

Former FIFA presidential candidate also serving 3-month football ban

Afp August 19, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said it has extended the provisional suspension of scandal-tainted former Fifa presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam by 20 days.

It comes with the Qatari currently serving a three-month ban from football imposed by the ethics committee of the sport’s governing body on July 26 pending the outcome of a probe into AFC finances.

Bin Hammam, who has been provisionally replaced after nine years as AFC president, was earlier last month suspended for 30 days by the AFC following an external audit into the accounts during his time in charge.

The Qatari was handed a life-time ban from football last year after being found guilty of bribery by a Fifa ethics committee panel during his campaign for the presidency of the sport’s world governing body.

Bin Hammam’s ban was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on July 19 after his appeal was upheld on grounds of insufficient evidence.

The AFC said in a statement that its disciplinary committee decided on August 15 to extend the provisional suspension of Bin Hammam, who has been accused of offering cash bribes to unseat long-standing president Sepp Blatter last year.

Has denied wrongdoing

Bin Hammam has denied any wrongdoing, saying cash handouts he made during the election campaign were gifts.

The 63-year-old, who spearheaded Qatar’s successful bid to win the 2022 World Cup, has described the charges and his punishment by Fifa as politically motivated.

The bin Hammam case has spotlighted concerns over corruption in the global game and prompted calls for reform of Fifa’s governance structure.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2012.

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