Bin Hammam resigns after provisional ban extended
PARIS (AFP) –
Mohamed Bin Hammam on Monday announced that he had resigned from his roles on FIFA’s executive committee and as president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
The Qatari told AFP in an emailed statement that he had stepped down from the positions 10 days after the ethics committee of football’s world governing body FIFA, launched a new probe into corruption claims against him.
FIFA responded to bin Hammam’s statement by saying it had received his resignation letter but stressed its ethics committee remained competent to make and maintain a judgment “even if a person resigns”.
On that basis, FIFA noted its own report showed “repeated violations of Article 19 (Conflict of Interest) of the FIFA Code of Ethics, edition 2012, of Mohamed Bin Hammam during his terms as AFC President and as member of the FIFA Executive Committee in the years 2008 to 2011, which justified a life-long ban from all football related activity.”
The 63-year-old has been accused of trying to buy the result of a vote to the world governing body’s top job in 2011 and was banned by FIFA from all footballing activities.
This ban was subsequently overturned by the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in July due to what it called a lack of evidence over the corruption allegations.
Bin Hammam, who is still provisionally suspended from football, said he was fed up with what he said were “trumped up allegations”.
“For me, the decision by CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport), the highest independent authority in sports arbitration, that FIFA’s ban was unjustified is enough,” he said in the statement.
“This decision has been now confirmed by a new Investigatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee who failed to introduce any evidence in spite of spending tens of millions of dollars for an investigation.
“I do not want to spend any more of my life fighting trumped up allegations and to focus instead on my family and businesses. However, if further allegations are made I will, of course, defend myself in the same way that I did in the past.”
Last month, the AFC said it was looking to replace bin Hammam following a unanimous decision to hold presidential elections next year.
According to insiders, interim president Zhang Jilong of China is favourite to claim the post full-time and last month said he had “promised a new vision for AFC” in a “new era of transparency” after nine years of bin Hammam being at the helm.