FIFA ethics judges ban Qatari elec­tion can­di­date for 1 year

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

A Qatari can­di­date for elec­tion to FIFA's rul­ing coun­cil has been banned from all soc­cer duty for one year for re­fus­ing to co­op­er­ate with ethics in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

Saoud Al-Mo­han­nadi "did not co­op­er­ate with the in­ves­ti­ga­tory cham­ber in the pro­ceed­ings against a third party," FIFA ethics com­mit­tee judges said in a state­ment.

It also fined him 20,000 Swiss francs ($19,900).

The ban blocks Al-Mo­han­nadi, a vice pres­i­dent of the Qatar Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion and Asian Foot­ball Con­fed­er­a­tion, from a Feb. 28 elec­tion to rep­re­sent Asia on the strat­egy-set­ting FIFA Coun­cil.

The vote was sched­uled in Septem­ber but de­layed in an ap­par­ent protest by Asian mem­bers of FIFA against the ethics case.

Al-Mo­han­nadi was among four can­di­dates for two va­cant seats rep­re­sent­ing Asia on the ex­panded FIFA coun­cil, which re­placed the scan­dal-tainted FIFA ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee this year.

The other can­di­dates were from China, Iran, Sin­ga­pore.

The case against Al-Mo­han­nadi was opened in July 2015, the FIFA ethics com­mit­tee state­ment said.

In April 2015, the Qatari of­fi­cial lost in his first at­tempt to win elec­tion to FIFA's rul­ing panel.

The ethics com­mit­tee said AlMo­han­nadi breached his "duty to col­lab­o­rate as a wit­ness in sep­a­rate pro­ceed­ings," though did not spec­ify the case.

It pre­vi­ously said the is­sue did not in­volve the 2022 World Cup bid­ding con­test won by Qatar.

In re­cent years, the ethics com­mit­tee has im­posed life bans on Qatari for­mer AFC pres­i­dent Mo­hamed bin Ham­mam for fi­nan­cial mis­man­age­ment, and one of Bin Ham­mam's clos­est aides, Ver­non Mani­lal Fer­nando of Sri Lanka, for bribery in Asian and FIFA elec­tions.

Al-Mo­han­nadi can ap­peal the sanc­tion to FIFA and later the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport.

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