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Monday, October 18, 2021

FIFA watchdog recommends two-year ban for Qatar football official

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Saud Al Mohannadi
Saud Al Mohannadi

Updated at 7:48pm with comment from QFA

A senior Qatari football official has come under fire for allegedly failing to cooperate during an investigation by FIFA’s Ethics Committee.

An investigator from the committee recommended this week that Qatar Football Association (QFA) Vice Chairman Saoud Al Mohannadi be banned from the sport for at least two and a half years.

In a statement, the official also suggested Al Mohannadi be fined at least CHF20,000 (QR74,422).

FIFA Congress
FIFA Congress

This is over “his failure to properly cooperate and provide truthful information to the investigatory chamber in the framework of another investigation.”

FIFA did not disclose what that inquiry was, but said it was not related to the awarding of the 2022 World Cup, which Qatar is hosting.

It added that until any formal decision is taken by the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, Al Mohannadi is “presumed innocent.”

In a statement on QNA this evening, QFA expressed its disappointment in the recommendation.

Al Mohannadi has not seen the report, which was issued without informing him that the investigation had even included, it added, continuing:

“However, he as well as the QFA are both confident that a full and fair review of the matter will confirm that he has cooperated extensively and candidly with the Ethics Committee and that any charges against him are without legitimate basis.”

ExCo election

Al Mohannadi, who is also vice chairman of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), was recently cleared to run for FIFA’s newly reformed executive committee.

The AFC said earlier this month that he and six other candidates had passed an integrity review by FIFA.

FIFA headquarters
FIFA headquarters

In today’s statement, QFA suggested that pending any formal action against him, Al Mohannadi will continue to run next month in the elections, will be held in India on Sept. 27.

Al Mohannadi had also stood for an ExCo position last year, but withdrew days before the elections were due to be held.

At the time, he said he hoped colleagues in the region would rally behind a single candidate.

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