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Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Bin Hammam rages after ban is extended

ESPN staff

Mohamed Bin Hammam's lawyers have revealed the Qatari has had his ban from football extended by FIFA.

Bin Hammam has been suspended for a further 45 days by the game's governing body, despite having his lifetime ban overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in July.

FIFA responded to that ruling by immediately suspending Bin Hammam for 90 days after it announced a fresh investigation into his conduct by their ethics investigator Michael J Garcia.

The 63-year-old former president of the Asian Football Confederation has reacted angrily to the fresh ban, issuing a statement through his lawyer Eugene Gulland.

It read: "It is astounding that FIFA is able to keep extending its ban on the football activities of Mr Bin Hammam, as it sees fit. FIFA's latest extension order fails to give any reasons to justify its action.

"The basic tenet of law is that a person is innocent until proven guilty after a trial conducted according to due process. The situation that Mr Bin Hammam is facing is even more bizarre - a man who has prevailed in a trial by an independent legal body continues to be punished in an arbitrary manner.

"The judgment of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) found not only that FIFA failed to establish adequate evidence that Mr Bin Hammam was the source of the funds, but FIFA had also failed to establish any intent to influence votes. In short, FIFA failed to establish both evidence and motive.

"Yet here we are some four months later with FIFA continuing to extend its ban while it, in conjunction with the Asian Football Confederation, conjures up further jumped-up charges.''

Gulland claimed the reasons for FIFA's actions were political because Bin Hammam stood against Sepp Blatter in last year's presidential election.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report




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