Hammam to take battle to CAS

Mohamed Bin Hammam will take his battle against a lifetime ban for bribery to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after losing an appeal against the punishment.

Mohamed Bin Hammam

FIFA's appeals committee on Thursday rejected Bin Hammam's attempt to overturn the ban imposed by the world governing body's ethics committee in July.

A statement from Bin Hammam's lawyer Eugene Gulland said: "As expected, the FIFA appeals panel, which met in Zurich today, upheld the 23 July ruling by the FIFA ethics committee, and we will therefore be taking our appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)."

The lawyer also revealed that Bin Hammam's legal team will take a separate case to CAS challenging FIFA's right to appoint China's Zhang Jilong as acting president of the Asian Football Confederation in place of the Qatari.

Gulland added: "Mr Bin Hammam has already gone on record stating that he was not optimistic of justice prevailing from the FIFA appeals process but this was a protocol to enable him to obtain access to CAS.

"History seems to bear him out as the FIFA appeals process has rarely interfered with the decisions of its football colleagues in other FIFA internal panels.

"We have also brought a separate legal proceeding before CAS which challenges the right of FIFA to designate Zhang Jilong as 'acting president' of the Asian Football Confederation and appoint him to sit on the FIFA executive committee. These decisions infringe the Asian Football Confederation's constitution."

Gulland called on FIFA to move quickly in sending out the full findings of the appeal and to publish the transcript in full.

"Let's hope FIFA does not draw the issue of this by a further month, like the previous motivated decision, as we are keen to present our case to an independent body," said Gulland.

"We also continue to champion the need for transparency and call on FIFA to publish the transcripts of the appeals panel as well as that of the ethics committee proceedings in July."

Bin Hammam was banned after the ethics committee ruled he was responsible for cash gifts totalling around 1million US dollars to officials from associations belonging to the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) at a meeting in Trinidad on May 10.

FIFA have charged 16 of those officials with rule breaches in connection with that meeting.

The FIFA appeal committee was chaired by Francisco Acosta of Ecuador.

A FIFA statement said: "The appeal made by Mohammed bin Hammam has been rejected and the decision of the FIFA ethics committee confirmed. The sanction of being banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at national and international level for life has therefore been maintained. Fernando Mitjans (Argentina) and Augustin Senghor (Senegal) made up the three-man panel.

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