Mohamed Bin Hammam Resigns From Football Duties, Receives Lifetime Ban By FIFA
FIFA Exec Committee member Mohamed bin Hammam "resigned from all football-related positions and was handed a new life ban by FIFA" on Monday, according to the AP. Bin Hammam's resignation "seemingly bringing a close to one of the most damaging corruption scandals to blight the game's world governing body." Bin Hammam, who challenged incumbent Sepp Blatter for the presidency last year, "gave up his long-running dispute with the organization" after being found guilty by FIFA of "repeated violations'' of its code of ethics while head of the Asian Football Confederation (AP, 12/17). In a statement, FIFA said, "In view of the fact that under the new FIFA Code of Ethics, the FIFA Ethics Committee remains competent to render a decision even if a person resigns, the Adjudicatory Chamber decided to ban Mohamed Bin Hammam from all football-related activity for life" (FIFA).
DONE FIGHTING: AFP reported Bin Hammam said in an emailed statement he was tired of “trumped up allegations.” Hammam: “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. I do not want to spend any more of my life fighting trumped up allegations and to focus instead on my family and businesses" (AFP, 12/17).
MARKING THE END: REUTERS reported Bin Hammam's resignation "could bring an end to one of the most unsavoury scandals to have hit the sport." Bin Hammam was originally accused of "trying to buy the presidential votes of Caribbean officials by handing them $40,000 each in brown envelopes" at a meeting in Port of Spain one month before he was due to challenge Blatter in last year's FIFA presidential election. Bin Hammam has "long pleaded his innocence and complained his punishments have come because he challenged Blatter's leadership" (REUTERS, 12/17).