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Bin Hammam: 'I should have been given benefit of doubt'
by Paul Kennedy, May 30th, 2011 12:45AM
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[FIFA IN CRISIS] A day after he withdrew from his candidacy for FIFA president, paving the way for incumbent to win re-election to a fourth term, Asian Football Confederation President Mohamed Bin Hammam was suspended by the FIFA Ethics Committee, pending  full hearing on charges he participated in a "cash-for-vote" scheme to win support from Caribbean federations for his presidential bid. Bin Hammam questioned why he was suspended when he was not yet found guilty.

Bin Hammam's decision to withdraw is believed to part of an effort by the beleaguered Qatar 2022 World Cup organization, beset by charges that it bribed its way to victory over the United States and three other competing bidders, to head off a move by FIFA pull the World Cup from the Gulf state.

While Bin Hammam was Qatar 2022's inside man on the FIFA executive committee, the Qatar bid was run by members of the Qatari royal family.

Bin Hammam's statement:

“I have been referred to the Ethics Committee based on evidence which was strong enough in the views of the FIFA General Secretary for such procedure. However, the Ethics Committee in its meeting today did not find this evidence sufficient to convict me. Consequently, I should have been given the benefit of doubt but instead, I have been banned from all football activities.”
 
"I have been given the impression that the Ethics Committee is absolutely an independent committee, but in the press conference we have seen today, the General Secretary made clear that he is the one who has the influence in this Committee."
 
Regarding FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke's presentation of new evidence against Concacaf President Jack Warner and Bin Hammam -- a fax from the Puerto Rico soccer federation that it was returning the $40,000 it received at the May 10 CFU meeting, Bin Hammam said it was contradictory to the rules of justice by an allegedly independent commission.
 
“I’m very disappointed about the way the status of the proceeding has been presented at the media conference," he said. "I am expecting that this will continue. This is not how I understand fair play. I’m reserving all my rights.”



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