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December 17, 2012 11:04 pm
Fifa’s long-running battle with Mohamed bin Hammam over corruption allegations has ended with its former executive committee member announcing he is quitting all involvement in the running of the game.
Soccer’s world governing body said in a statement that Mr bin Hammam, who as ex-president of the Asian Football Confederation was one of the most powerful figures in the sport, had submitted a letter saying he was resigning from all positions with immediate effect.
Fifa underlined its antipathy towards Mr bin Hammam by saying that notwithstanding his resignation letter it was banning him from football for life – the second time it has done so.
In July 2011, he was given a life ban by Fifa following allegations that he had attempted to buy votes from Caribbean officials in his campaign to oust Fifa president Sepp Blatter, which he denied. The international Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned the ban in July this year.
Fifa said its latest ban was being imposed following a report from Michael Garcia, who chairs the investigatory chamber of its ethics committee. The report revealed “repeated violations” of its ethics code, relating to conflicts of interest in 2008 to 2011 during Mr bin Hammam’s terms as a Fifa executive committee member and president of the AFC, Fifa said.
Mr Garcia last week closed the case of vote-buying against Mr bin Hammam after failing to uncover any new evidence.
Mr Blatter was elected unopposed by Fifa’s Congress last year after the governing body suspended Mr bin Hammam from the election, pending an investigation into the allegations.
Mr Blatter has faced persistent criticism of Fifa’s handling of corruption allegations and has attempted to reform the governing body by restructuring its ethics procedures.
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