After nearly a year and a half of fighting to clear his name, former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam has resigned from all football-related activities and been officially banned from the sport for life, FIFA has announced.
The Qatari businessman, who was initially banned from the sport in July 2011 after FIFA’s ethics committee found him guilty of vote-buying, quit his football-related positions on Saturday, shortly after FIFA launched a new investigation into corruption claims against him.
The original ban issued by FIFA was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in July for lack of evidence into any wrong-doing.
In his recent letter of resignation, the former Asian Football Confederation president and FIFA executive committee member stated that he would never be active in organized football again.
He told AFP in an email that:
“I do not want to spend any more of my life fighting trumped up allegations and to focus instead on my family and businesses. However, if further allegations are made I will, of course, defend myself in the same way that I did in the past.”
FIFA said in statement that a decision can be rendered against Bin Hammam even if he resigns, adding that the group’s verdict was based on the final report of new ethics committee chairman Michael J. Garcia:
That report showed repeated violations of Article 19 (Conflict of Interest) of the FIFA Code of Ethics, edition 2012, of Mohamed Bin Hammam during his terms as AFC President and as member of the FIFA Executive Committee in the years 2008 to 2011, which justified a life-long ban from all football related activity.
Garcia, a US attorney, has also previously announced plans to investigate the awarding of the 2018 Football World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
Credit: Photo of FIFA headquarters by Ed Coyle