Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bin Hammam may face FIFA life ban as former ally calls for his resignation

British sports journalist Andrew Warshaw has reported in the Inside World Football newsletter that sources close to the FIFA Ethics Committee's case against Asian Football Confederation President Mohamed bin Hammam "have indicated" that the Qatari, accused of paying cash bribes to 25 Caribbean FIFA members in exchange for votes, "will almost certainly be banned for life and be forced to go to appeal to clear his name."

Bin Hammam, who was initially suspended along with FIFA vice-president Jack Warner pending a full inquiry, vehemently denies any wrongdoing despite the Ethics Committee revealing in a leaked 17-page prima facie report that there was "comprehensive, convincing and overwhelming" evidence he tried to buy votes during his tilt at the FIFA Presidency.

Warshaw's scoop follows within days of a call by former AFC Secretary General, Peter Velappan, for bin Hammam and others to follow Warners resignation and departure from the football world. "I would suggest in the interests of FIFA and global football the entire FIFA exco (executive committee) must resign and open up a new chapter for football for the future," Velappan told AFP. "In the same way, for the future of Asian football, Hammam should resign."

Velappan supported bin Hammam when he was first elected chief to Asian football in 2002 but the two later fell out. "We are at not only a crossroads but a crisis because now corruption has become part of the culture of football," said the Malaysian. "Everybody now comes into football for the greed of money."

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