Bin Hammam protests over Congress absence

ZURICH - FIFA's former presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam, temporarily banned over cash-for-votes allegations, was barred entry to football governing body's annual congress on Wednesday.

The Qatari, who withdrew his candidacy shortly before being banned by FIFA's ethics committee on Sunday, said he would never accept they way in which his name had been tarnished.

"I will never accept how my name and my reputation have been damaged. I will fight for my rights. I thank all the people who have supported me during the last weeks and will support me further," Bin Hammam said in a statement.

"Good days bring you happiness, bad days bring you experience," added Bin Hammam, who cannot exercise his duties as president of the Asian Football Confederation and FIFA executive committee member while he is banned.

Bin Hammam's withdrawal has left incumbent Sepp Blatter set to be re-elected unopposed later on Wednesday.

A statement issued by Bin Hammam's spokesman said: "Despite his explicit written request, he was not provided with the motivated decision of his suspension in due course and he was not able to file his appeal and was denied his last opportunity to get access to the FIFA congress.

"There is absolutely no justification for a suspension.

The statement also criticised the conduct of FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke.

"The suspension is not necessary to conduct the investigation but constituted a grave violation of his reputation and created substantial damage without any necessity.

"The behaviour of the FIFA secretary general at the media conference on Sunday evening was absolutely unacceptable and against all principles of justice," it added.

"Sitting next to the chairman of the independent ethics committee, he abused the event to voice his personal opinions and to comment on the results.

"Because of this very unfair treatment, Mohamed Bin Hammam reserves all his rights, against this unprofessional and one-sided attitude, with the judicial bodies of FIFA and beyond."


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