Mohamed Bin Hammam launches appeal against Fifa
Former FIFA executive Mohamed Bin Hammam has called the decision to ban him for life "deeply flawed" but believes trying to clear his name may prove difficult in the face of "tactical games" from the governing body as he launched his formal appeal.
The Asian Football Confederation president was last month found guilty of charges that he attempted to bribe members of the Caribbean Football Union at a meeting on the FIFA presidential campaign trail in Trinidad in May.
The 62-year-old was given a lifetime ban from the sport but, after vowing to try and clear his name, he is now looking to take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.
Last week he received FIFA's reasoning for his suspension and, after analysing it, he has today claimed in a statement released via his official website, that the governing body's "abuse of power" could hold up his plans to appeal.
He wrote: "On Thursday, 18 August 2011, FIFA issued the motivated decisions of the Ethics Committee almost a month after the Ethics Committee decided to ban me for life.
"Since then, I have submitted my case to the FIFA Appeals Committee, not hoping for justice to prevail but as a protocol to enable me to obtain access to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS).
"After all, the panel from the Appeals Committee is decided by my opponent and in this case, as previously, the judge is the rival. Therefore, I should not exaggerate my hope for a fair decision.
"Going through the motivated decisions, we found them to be deeply flawed and raises grave doubts on whether any decision-making body of FIFA has sufficient independence to ensure a fair decision based solely on evidences and applicable laws.
"Based on our experiences, we expect the appeal process and decision to take approximately two months, not because this time is necessarily needed but more due to FIFA's tactical games and abuse of power, as evident throughout this case."
Bin Hammam also added that FIFA suspended him without having evidence to back up their allegations against him, and alleges they have attempted to delay his right of appeal.
He believes that his chances of having the decision overturned remain slim, but has vowed to carry on regardless.
He said: "When I was suspended on 29 May on charges of bribery and vote buying, it was supposedly based on strong evidences in the investigation conducted by Collins and Collins and directed by Jerome Valcke and Chuck Blazer.
"Yet despite the alleged strong evidences conclusive enough to justify my suspension and deprived me of going to the Congress and running as a FIFA Presidential candidate surprisingly enough, FIFA went for another investigation again, this time by Freeh group, to look for evidences which they never had in the first instance to suspend me.
"Consequently, my suspension, instead of 30 days became almost two months and on 23 July, I was found guilty beyond any doubt by a kangaroo court and banned for life.
"But, once more surprisingly, Valcke went for another investigation to find if I have done anything wrong.
"In the army, they execute the order first, and then discuss. In FIFA, they suspend first, and then look for evidences.
"It took FIFA 30 days after they decided to ban me for life, to deliver their motivated decisions without which, I am unable to go to the Appeals Committee and the appeals process will now take another two months.
"The decisions of the Appeals Committee will not be any better than the Ethics Committee and I would not be surprised if another investigation will be opened.
"But as I have vowed before, I will not rest no matter what tactical delays, forgery or biasness are put against me. I will continue my battle until I prove my innocence and that my suspension was a political decision and an absolute abuse of power to deprive me of my right to contest for FIFA Presidency."
Bin Hammam's ban stems from allegations made after a meeting for associations of the CFU organised by Bin Hammam and former CONCACAF president Jack Warner in Trinidad during the Qatari's campaign to oust Sepp Blatter as FIFA president.
Several members of the CFU claim they were offered thousands of dollars in cash for "development projects" at the meeting, with CFU officials Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester alleged to have handed over the money.
Minguell and Sylvester were also both found guilty of wrongdoing at the hearing in Zurich and received one-year bans from all football activity, backdated to May 29 this year when their provisional suspensions began.
Former FIFA vice-president Warner, who was charged along with Bin Hammam, did not face the ethics committee after FIFA dropped the investigation into him following his resignation from all football activities on June 20.
Damaseb said Warner's resignation took him out of FIFA's jurisdiction and therefore he was presumed innocent.
Bin Hammam has been suspended from all football activity since May 29 after the allegations arose just a few days before the presidential election.
The investigation was widened to include Blatter after Bin Hammam claimed he knew about the alleged payments, but the president was cleared of any wrongdoing at the same hearing that saw Bin Hammam suspended.
Three days later, Blatter was re-elected unopposed as president after a campaign led by the Football Association to have the vote delayed proved unsuccessful.
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