Suspended fifa executive plans his appeal
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — FIFA executive Mohamed bin Hammam plans to appeal his suspension over bribery allegations, claiming Monday that he was being "punished before I am found guilty."
A FIFA ethics committee provisionally suspended bin Hammam and FIFA vice president Jack Warner on Sunday, pending a full inquiry into allegations Caribbean soccer leaders were paid $40,000 each to back the Qatari's now-abandoned bid for the FIFA presidency.
In a statement released Monday, bin Hammam said he has lodged a request with FIFA to file his appeal by today so he could be reinstated ahead of Wednesday's congress where FIFA executives will vote for a president.
Bin Hammam, 62, was incumbent Sepp Blatter's only challenger before he withdrew from the race hours before the ethics committee issued its ruling Sunday.
"The way these proceedings have been conducted is absolutely not compliant with any principles of justice. I am punished before I am found guilty," bin Hammam said Monday.
"I get the impression that the outcome of these proceedings had been defined from the very beginning as it has been made evident at the press conference on Sunday evening at which FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke showed his bias very clearly. This is not acceptable as the FIFA Ethics Committee is supposed to be a fully independent body."
After a daylong hearing Sunday, the FIFA ethics panel said there was sufficient evidence to further investigate allegations that bin Hammam and Warner, the CONCACAF president, offered the bribes to more than two dozen delegates at a Caribbean soccer association meeting May 10-11 in Trinidad.
The payments were allegedly made to secure votes for bin Hammam in his campaign to unseat Blatter. If found guilty, bin Hammam and Warner could be expelled from FIFA and banned for life from all soccer activity.
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