Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Bin Hammam loses bid to reclaim post

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KUALA LUMPUR: A bid by ousted Asian soccer chief Mohamed bin Hammam to block the appointment of his replacement has been denied by a sports arbitration court, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said on Monday.

The 62-year-old Qatari was handed a lifetime ban from the sport in July after he was found guilty of trying to buy votes in the FIFA presidential race by offering Caribbean football officials $40,000 each. He denies the charges.

Bin Hammam was replaced as AFC chief — and as a member of FIFA’s executive committee — by China’s Zhang Jilong.

Zhang was named acting head of Asian football after a provisional ban on Bin Hammam in May by FIFA’s ethics committee.

Bin Hammam had appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland to block Zhang’s appointment but the AFC said the court struck down the attempt in a ruling on Friday.

“AFC has strictly followed the AFC Statutes at all times in relation to Mr. (Zhang) Jilong’s designation as AFC Acting President and nomination to the FIFA Executive Committee,” said the statement, which “welcomed” the ruling.

“The CAS decision to dismiss Mr. Bin Hammam’s request for a provisional stay is a procedural order and not an award, meaning that it is not subject to further appeal.”

Bin Hammam last month lost an appeal against the FIFA lifetime ban from football but has insisted he would fight on to clear his name.

He has described the charges against him as “politically motivated”.

His suspension led to his withdrawal from the world football body’s leadership election, handing incumbent president Sepp Blatter a fourth consecutive term in office. The controversy highlighted allegations of corruption in FIFA and sparked calls for reform of its governance structure. (Agencies)

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