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Oct 16, 2012

Bin Hammam calls for Blatter investigation

FIFA president Sepp Blatter and other FIFA officials should face full investigations into allegations against them, Mohamed Bin Hammam has told ethics investigator Michael J Garcia.

• Bin Hammam returns to court

Bin Hammam, 63, returned to the Court of Arbitration for Sport this week to continue his attempts to overturn his provisional suspension as the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president and a member of FIFA's executive.

The punishment was imposed because he was the subject of a financial investigation by the AFC, but Bin Hammam has claimed it is politically motivated because he challenged Blatter for the FIFA presidency last year.

The Qatari is under provisional suspension by FIFA pending an investigation by Garcia. Earlier this year, he had his life ban, imposed because of bribery charges, overturned by the court on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

He had been accused of attempting to buy votes ahead of the FIFA presidential election, and the court said the overturning of the ban was not an "affirmative finding of innocence".

Now Bin Hammam has written to Garcia to complain about the fact that Blatter and other FIFA officials have not been suspended despite allegations having been made against them.

In the letter, seen by the Press Association, he writes: "Complaints have been made, both against Mr Blatter and some of his colleagues, which would seem to justify a full investigation.

"Whilst I am still suspended, my rival in the 2011 presidential election remains in power and office. He is not under any investigation or suspension. This is so difficult for me to understand."

Bin Hammam said Blatter was using his power against him, writing: "In truth, my previous opponent still holds all the cards.

"He has therefore been able to apply the full power and weight of the FIFA judicial machinery against me. I have had no relief from this onslaught for the last 16 months. Why should others not be suspended pending investigations in the same way that I have been?"

He said his family had been forced to "endure the nightmare of one set of allegations after the other being made against me".

Bin Hammam has accused Blatter of double standards after he promised a $1 million gift to the CONCACAF federation during his presidential campaign, and of using FIFA money his campaign travel and expenses.

He questioned how there could ever be a fair election battle against an incumbent FIFA president, saying there were "no rules and therefore no level playing field", and urged someone to stand for the presidency on a platform of an agenda for change.

FIFA said it could not comment on active cases.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report