Bin Hammam launches appeal, expects to go to CAS

DOHA,  (Reuters) – Banned Asian soccer president  Mohamed Bin Hammam launched an appeal against his lifetime ban  by FIFA but said in a strongly worded statement yesterday that  he did not expect to clear his name yet despite the decision  being ‘hugely flawed.’   

The 62-year-old Qatari was given a lifetime ban from soccer  by the world governing body last month after being found guilty  of bribing Caribbean officials during his bid to oust incumbent  FIFA president Sepp Blatter.  

In a statement on his personal blog, the former Asian  Football Confederation (AFC) president said he had appealed  after FIFA released the motivated decisions of the Ethics  Committee, who banned him, last week.   

“I have submitted my case to the FIFA Appeals Committee, not  hoping for justice to prevail but as a protocol to enable me to  obtain access to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS),” the  Qatari said (   

“After all, the panel from the Appeals Committee is decided  by my opponent and in this case, as previously, the judge is the  rival. Therefore, I should not exaggerate hope for a fair  decision.   

“Going through the motivated decisions, we found them to be  deeply flawed and raises grave doubts on whether any  decision-making body of FIFA has sufficient independence to  ensure a fair decision based solely on evidence and applicable  laws.   

“Based on our experiences, we expect the appeal process and  decision to take approximately two months, not because this time  is necessarily needed but more due to FIFA’s tactical games and  abuse of power, as evident throughout this case.”   

Bin Hammam faces a race against time if he wants to return  to the role of AFC president, a role he has held since 2002.   

Last month, acting president AFC president Zhang Jilong of  China said after their executive committee meeting in Kuala  Lumpur that they would not be able to replace Bin Hammam until  after May 30.

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