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Saturday, September 18, 2021

AFC extends Bin Hammam’s suspension as bribery allegations continue to swirl

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The Asian Football Confederation has decided to extend the suspension of former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam for another 20 days, AFP reports.

The move is the latest development in an ongoing saga to determine whether the Qatari bribed officials while running for FIFA’s top spot.

Last year, FIFA imposed a lifetime ban on Bin Hammam after finding him guilty of the allegations. The Court of Arbitration for Sport lifted that ban in July after his appeal was upheld on grounds of insufficient evidence.

But days later, FIFA’s ethics committee imposed a provisional ban pending the outcome of a probe into AFC finances. The ban means Bin Hammam cannot immediately return to office or sit at the next FIFA executive committee meeting in September.

The businessman has denied all allegations, saying the investigation is politically motivated.

AP reports:

In a letter to 20 Asian associations, bin Hammam confirmed he made payments to soccer officials and others but said they came out of his own bank accounts and were driven by a desire to help those in need – including Zhang Jilong, the current AFC president who ordered the PriceWaterhouseCoopers audit that instigated the investigation by FIFA’s ethics committee…

The audit accuses bin Hammam of receiving millions of dollars from individuals linked to AFC contracts and spending tens of thousands on items such as a honeymoon, dental work, haircuts and cash payments for his family. Payments are alleged to have been made to Asian, African and Caribbean soccer officials, including $250,000 to Jack Warner, the former longtime head of Caribbean soccer.

Thoughts on this?

Besides, will this drama never end?

Credit: Photo courtesy of Mohamed Bin Hammam’s Facebook page

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