PtG Article 19.04.2012

Bin Hammam appeals to CAS against FIFA’s lifetime ban

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) met yesterday to hear the former FIFA executive Mohamed Bin Hammam’s appeal against his life-time ban from football.  The CAS hearing is expected to end today, but a decision is not expected for several weeks, writes AFP. The ban was imposed by FIFA a year ago after football’s governing body found Bin Hammam guilty of bribery during the presidential election where he was going up against long-time president Sepp Blatter.   

Bin Hammam was charged with having tried to buy the votes of Caribbean officials by handing them money hidden in brown envelopes. He himself explained that the cash was offered as gifts and argued that the punishment by FIFA was politically motivated.  Sepp Blatter was re-elected as president of FIFA unopposed and Bin Hammam was found guilty of breaking several articles of FIFA’s ethics code and was banned for life. 

Bin Hammam has denied any wrongdoing, claiming that Blatter helped orchestrate a bribery scandal to ensure an election victory last June, writes AP.  Bin Hammam appealed to CAS and has sought a quick ruling to protect his position with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), which he has led since 2002. The AFC is obliged by law to elect a new president if Bin Hammam's status is not resolved within a year after the FIFA suspension – that is, before May 29.