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Monday, August 2, 2021

FIFA bans Qatar football official for one year

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Saoud Al Mohannadi, vice chairman of Qatar Football Association
Saoud Al Mohannadi, vice chairman of Qatar Football Association

Effective immediately, a senior Qatari official has been banned from all football-related activities on a national and international level, FIFA has announced.

In a statement today, the world’s football governing body said the ban against Qatar Football Association’s (QFA) vice-president Saoud Al Mohannadi will last a year.

It added:

“Because Mr Al-Mohannadi did not cooperate with the investigatory chamber in the proceedings against a third party, the adjudicatory chamber found him guilty of violating art. 18 (Duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting) and art. 42 (General obligation to collaborate) of the FIFA Code of Ethics (FCE).”

However, FIFA did not elaborate on who that third party is.

QFA has not issued any formal comment about the decision yet, but previously said the charges were “without legitimate basis.”

The timing of the decision is likely to further embarrass Qatar, which is hosting a major Olympic committee conference this week.

The country, which is aiming to be a leader in sports, was also hit with the sudden temporary closure of its anti-doping lab on Monday.

Investigation

This summer, FIFA’s Ethics Committee recommended a two-and-a-half year ban be placed on the official. It also suggested Al Mohannadi be charged a fine of at least CHF20,000 (QR74,422).

At the time, FIFA said the inquiry was not related to the awarding of the 2022 World Cup, which Qatar is hosting.

Al Mohannadi is also the vice chairman of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

FIFA headquarters
FIFA headquarters

Prior to the investigation, he had been planning to run for FIFA’s newly reformed executive committee.

But he was told at the last minute that he was disqualified from running.

Displeased by this, Asia’s top football officials refused to participate in a planned ExCo election in September. It has now been rescheduled for February.

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