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Bin Hammam rages at FIFA as he is banned.

MOHAMED BIN HAMMAM has claimed the cash given to members of the Caribbean Football Union during his campaign for the FIFA presidency was simply payment to cover their expenses as he launched a stinging attack on the governing body for his life ban.

The 62-year-old Qatari was banned for life from all football-related activity after being found guilty by FIFA's ethics committee of attempting to bribe 25 members of the CFU in Trinidad in May.

Bin Hammam, who was found guilty of giving or offering cash gifts totalling around one million US dollars, has confirmed he will appeal the decision.

"We did not do anything wrong," he said. "We played in compliance with the rules and regulations of FIFA.

"I did not provide money for distribution, or for buying votes or for bribing.

"I paid the expenses of the congresses, the travel expenses, daily allowances."

The ban stems from allegations made after a meeting for associations of the CFU organised by Bin Hammam and former CONCACAF president Jack Warner in Trinidad during the Qatari's campaign to oust Sepp Blatter as FIFA president.

Several members of the CFU claim they were offered sums of money for "development projects" at the meeting.

Bin Hammam, who alleged his fate was decided even before the ethics committee heard his case, claimed the decision was an act of revenge for standing against Blatter.

"Exactly, there is nothing else," he said.

"The ban for life has already been written before the investigation started.

"I was expecting it actually. The ban for life, that shows how much these people are angry, how much they are full of revenge."

Bin Hammam, who was not present at the ruling after alleging FIFA just wanted a "platform" to announce his ban, also claimed he still does not know the allegations against him.

"Not at all, we asked them officially, they did not answer," he said.

Asked if he thought the ethics committee was a kangaroo court, Bin Hammam added: "Do you see any other thing? I think that is quite evident what kind of court it was."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 25, 2011
Words:347
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