FIFA suspends Qatar’s Bin Hammam, clears Sepp Blatter of charges

The world soccer agency FIFA has temporarily banned Mohamed bin Hammam, the president of the Asian Football Confederation, from participating in soccer activity while it broadens its investigation into possible corruption charges.

Hammam, a Qatari national and member of FIFA’s executive committee, earlier today stepped out of the FIFA presidential race against incumbent Sepp Blatter.

This evening Hammam, Blatter and FIFA Vice President Jack Warner faced an ethics committee over charges that they offered financial incentives to members of the Caribbean Football Union.

Said the ethics comittee:

“We are satisfied that there is a case to answer [against Mohamed bin Hammam and Jack Warner]. There is going to be a full inquiry.”

“No investigation against Blatter is warranted.”

The Guardian has a minute-by-minute account of the ethics hearing results. The committee additionally ruled that the FIFA presidential race did not need to be postponed, and would go ahead on schedule.

Petrus Damaseb, who chaired the ethics meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, explained the ban on the two FIFA execs by saying it was a necessary measure to prevent investigations from being compromised.

As for whether the Qatar 2022 World Cup bid would also be investigated by the ethics committee, Jerome Valcke, General Secretary of FIFA, said simply that “it was not discussed by the committee.”

Most reacting to the news on Twitter indicated skepticism of the comittee’s process, if not the way FIFA is governed overall: 

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