FIFA prosecutor Michael Garcia (pictured) has formally opened investigations into bribery and financial misconduct allegations against Qatari Mohamed bin Hammam, a former presidential candidate.
FIFA said in a statement that Garcia has launched official cases after provisionally suspending Bin Hammam for 90 days last month. Garcia is studying an audit of Asian Football Confederation finances that suggests mismanagement of accounts and billion-dollar contracts under the Qatari official’s leadership.
It is Garcia’s first case since being appointed FIFA’s independent prosecutor. Garcia will also probe claims that Bin Hammam bribed Caribbean voters while challenging FIFA President Sepp Blatter last year. The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled FIFA failed to prove the allegation and lifted Bin Hammam’s life ban from soccer last month.
Bin Hammam has already been suspended for 30 days by the AFC while it investigates the latter case. Bin Hammam, who claims FIFA is pursuing a vendetta against him, challenged Sepp Blatter for the presidency of soccer’s world ruling body last year.
He withdrew his candidacy, and was then provisionally suspended, days before the June election over allegations that he had tried to buy the votes of Caribbean officials by handing them $40,000 each in brown envelopes at a meeting in Port of Spain.
Blatter was subsequently re-elected unopposed for a fourth term as FIFA president.
source: Arabian Business
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