Thursday 22 June 2017

Bin Hammam refusing to quit FIFA as he fights bribery allegations

Martyn Ziegler

FIFA member Mohamed Bin Hammam intends to fight allegations of bribery all the way to the bitter end.

The 62-year-old Qatari has told friends that he will not follow Jack Warner's example and resign from FIFA in order to escape the outcome of the investigation.

Bin Hammam and Warner were both suspended by FIFA's ethics committee last month pending a full inquiry into claims they offered or paid bribes totalling around $1m to the 25 members of the Caribbean Football Union.

Warner yesterday quit FIFA, meaning he is no longer under their jurisdiction, and there has been speculation that Bin Hammam may follow suit.

But one friend said: "He is adamant that he is going to fight these charges."

BACKED

Bin Hammam believes that his position will be backed up by fellow FIFA members Worawi Makudi, from Thailand, and Manilal Fernando, from Sri Lanka, as they accompanied him on the trip to Trinidad on May 10 and 11 when it is alleged the bribes were paid.

Warner may still hold the key to the inquiry, however. FIFA expect him to meet investigators this week where he will be asked details about Bin Hammam's visit, and if there is overwhelming evidence, then Bin Hammam too may be forced to quit.

Warner says he will help FIFA but is insisting he will not meet Louis Freeh, the ex-FBI chief who is heading the inquiry.

"I will die first. Not me. If FIFA wants me to co-operate I will do that but not with Freeh," he said. "I'm not going to back a complaint made by an American and investigated by Americans and an attempt to put it on American soil because the complaint is from Miami. I don't back this farce."

Irish Independent

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