Bin Hammam hits back over FIFA ban

Bin Hammam hits back over FIFA ban

Published Sep. 6, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

Banned FIFA member Mohamed Bin Hammam has claimed FIFA would never have dared to take action against him if he were European.

In a letter to the head of the ethics committee panel which imposed a lifetime ban on him for bribery, Bin Hammam also claims FIFA president Sepp Blatter and secretary general Jerome Valcke should be the subject of an investigation into corruption.

Bin Hammam was banned for paying bribes totalling around 1million US dollars to officials from the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) at a meeting in Trinidad on May 10. FIFA's ethics committee have charged 16 officials with rule breaches in connection to the meeting.

Bin Hammam, from Qatar, wrote in a letter to deputy ethics committee chairman Judge Petrus Damaseb, alleging the Namibian judge had been "a pawn" of Blatter's.


The letter, published by Bin Hammam, states: "Were I a European, or were the Caribbean part of Europe, neither Blatter nor Valcke will dare lay a finger on us; were we Europeans, you would have never been given the opportunity to chair this ethics committee panel and slaughter people left and right, as you have done."

The letter goes on: "I have never tried to bribe people and all the attendees of that CFU meeting are sure of this fact and you, yourself, heard this from all the witnesses that you and Valcke brought to testify against me.

"Nobody in this world will believe that Valcke and Blatter are qualified to fight any sort of corruption. If they are serious about fighting corruption, they should have the courage to volunteer themselves as the first subjects of such investigations on the allegations raised against them since years until today."

Witnesses testified to FIFA that the cash gifts of 40,000 US dollars each were handed over after a presentation by Bin Hammam, who was running against Blatter for FIFA president.

After Bin Hammam and fellow FIFA member Jack Warner were charged with bribery, FIFA appointed Damaseb to head the ethics panel as ethics committee chairman Claudio Sulser is, like Blatter, a Swiss.

In his letter, Bin Hammam claimed Damaseb had only been appointed to head the panel instead of lawyer, because he would do Valcke's bidding.

He wrote: "Have you ever asked yourself why you have been given the task to chair this committee when the FIFA ethics committee has a capable, qualified Swiss chairman? And this despite my legitimate rejection towards your membership in this panel.

"The answer is simply because Valcke would never have dared to dictate upon him [Sulser] what he must do or not do, while you were merely tasked to stamp any decisions that he will dictate upon you."

Bin Hammam has also sent copies of his letter to the members associations from the Caribbean and Africa.