CAS overturns Hammam's ban

CAS overturns Hammam's ban

Former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam has won his appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against a life ban from all soccer-related activity over bribery allegations. 

However, CAS said the decision did not amount to an “affirmative finding of innocence” for Bin Hammam, saying that FIFA's investigation had not been thorough enough, and that the case could be re-opened with new evidence. 

FIFA said it noted the outcome “with concern.” 

Qatari Bin Hammam remained suspended from the game after the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), which he previously headed, opened a disciplinary case against their former boss over alleged financial wrongdong earlier this week. 

He was banned for 30 days, which was extended to a worldwide ban by FIFA on Wednesday. 

“The CAS has upheld Bin Hammam's appeal, annulled the decision rendered by the FIFA Appeal Committee and lifted the life ban imposed on Mr Bin Hammam,” the CAS statement read. 

Bin Hammam, a former member of FIFA's executive committee, challenged Sepp Blatter for the presidency of soccer's world ruling body last year. 

He withdrew his candidacy, and was then provisionally suspended, days before the June election over allegations that he had tried to buy the votes of Caribbean officials by handing them $40,000 each in brown envelopes at a meeting in Port of Spain. 

He was banned for life and subsequently lost an appeal at FIFA. Proceedings against former CONCACAF president Jack Warner, also present at the meeting in Trinidad & Tobago, were dropped after he resigned his post. 

CAS said the three-man panel voted 2-1 in Bin Hammam's favour but added that his behaviour was “not of the highest ethical standard.”

“It is more likely than not that Mr Bin Hammam was the source of the monies that were brought into Trinidad and Tobago and eventually distributed at the meeting by Mr Warner,” said CAS.

  “In this way, his conduct, in collaboration with and most likely induced by Mr Warner, may not have complied with the highest ethical standards that should govern the world of football and other sports,” said CAS. 

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