Asia takes stock after Bin Hammam ban

SINGAPORE - Mohammed Bin Hammam's suspension from FIFA was greeted with a wall of silence in Asia as football figures in the region took stock in the aftermath of Sunday's stunning turn of events.

Asian football head Bin Hammam and Jack Warner, president of CONCACAF, were suspended over bribery allegations in the worst corruption scandal to blight the sport's governing body, while FIFA's Ethics Committee cleared President Sepp Blatter of any wrong-doing.

CONCACAF is the confederation representing North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football.

Hours earlier, Qatari Bin Hammam had ended his campaign to unseat Blatter, and the Swiss is now free to stand unopposed for a fourth term in charge of FIFA in Wednesday's election.

Bin Hammam and Warner were accused of arranging to pay delegates of the Caribbean Football Union $40,000 in cash to vote for Blatter's only rival. The case against Warner and Bin Hammam, who have denied any wrongdoing, will be heard in July.

Warner was furious at the outcome and told Reuters he had been the victim of a kangaroo court, while Bin Hammam said he was very disappointed about the way the status of the proceeding has been presented at a news conference.

"I am expecting that this will continue," he said. "This is not how I understand fair play. I'm reserving all my rights."

As the news was digested in Asia, Thailand's Worawi Makudi - a member of FIFA's elite executive committee and a long-time ally of bin Hammam - declined to comment when contacted by Reuters on Monday.

Worawi was one of four accused of corruption relating to World Cup bids last year but on Sunday FIFA's Secretary General Jerome Valcke said they were completely clean.

South Korea's Football Association made no comment while Korean football figurehead Chung Mong-joon, a former foe turned friend of bin Hammam, could not immediately be reached.

Australia, who lost out to Qatar in the race to host the 2022 World Cup, said they may make a statement later on Monday, while the Japanese FA said nobody at headquarters was in a position to comment.


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