Bin Hammam FIFA appeal set for next week

LONDON - Mohamed Bin Hammam, handed a life ban by FIFA on bribery charges, will have his appeal against that decision heard next week, FIFA confirmed on Thursday.

The 62-year-old Qatari, a former member of FIFA's Executive Committee, was booted out in July after being found guilty of corruption and his case will be heard by FIFA's Appeals Committee on September 15.

The hearing, at FIFA's headquarters in Zurich is expected to be completed on the day but it is not yet known if Bin Hammam will attend in person, or be represented by his lawyers.

Bin Hammam was banned after the Ethics Committee ruled he was responsible for cash gifts totalling around 1.0 million US dollars for officials from associations belonging to the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) at a meeting in Trinidad on May 10.

It was alleged the gifts of around 40,000 per member were to secure their votes in his battle to defeat incumbent Sepp Blatter in the FIFA presidential election on June 1.

After the allegations were made, Bin Hammam withdrew his candidature and Blatter was re-elected president for a fourth term unopposed.

FIFA have also charged 16 officials with rule breaches in connection with the CFU meeting and also handed a life ban to former executive committee member and FIFA vice-president Jack Warner of Trinidad & Tobago.

Bin Hammam has doggedly claimed he is innocent of all charges and if his appeal fails he has indicated he will take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, and possibly after that to the Swiss federal court.

Earlier this week Bin Hammam had been critical of FIFA and Ethics Committee chairman Petrus Damaseb of Namibia, insisting he had not bribed anyone and that FIFA would never have taken action against him if he were European.

The letter, published by Bin Hammam on the Asian Football Confederation website, states: "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 [were] brought to testify against me."

He also says he is secure enough financially to pursue his legal defence for years if necessary to restore his reputation, and will emerge "unscathed by these creative allegations."