Former international soccer official Jack Warner, who resigned amid the bribery probe of Mohamed bin Hammam, applauded a court’s decision to lift a life ban against the Qatari.
Warner said in an e-mailed statement that the decision by the Lausanne, Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport was “a victory of reason over allegations and mud-throwing.”
The 63-year-old Bin Hamman was the head of Asian soccer when he ran for the presidency of FIFA, the world soccer governing body, against incumbent Sepp Blatter.
FIFA banned 11 officials, reprimanded five more and warned six following its investigation into a specially convened meeting of the Caribbean Football Union in Trinidad on May 10, 2011, where it was alleged that delegates received envelopes stuffed with $40,000 from Bin Hammam’s campaign. The meeting was arranged by Warner, a FIFA vice president at the time.
The court ruled yesterday that there was “insufficient evidence” for FIFA to expel Bin Hammam, though it did not say that meant he was innocent of the charges.
Bin Hammam ended his campaign shortly before FIFA started the investigation, and Blatter was unopposed as he was re- elected to a fourth four-year term as president.
“FIFA’s reprehensible conduct with regard to Mohamed bin Hammam has been unmasked, its rulings against him were declared null and void,” Warner wrote. “The question can be asked as to how I would have fared under this FIFA system of injustice.”
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