By Ed Attwood
“No direct evidence” links Qatari to bribe claims, despite “compelling circumstantial evidence”
Mohamed Bin Hammam, the Qatari who ran for the presidency of football’s governing body, refused to cooperate with investigators during a probe into recent bribery allegations, according to a document that has been submitted to FIFA’s ethics committee.
The report, compiled by former FBI chief Louis Freeh, said Bin Hammam declined to speak to investigators or provide his bank records after claims that he had offered Caribbean football officials cash payments of $40,000 each.
However, the probe also showed that there was “no direct evidence” linking the Qatari to the money, instead citing “compelling circumstantial evidence.”
"Through his legal counsel, Mr Bin Hammam refused to speak with Investigative Counsel working for the Fifa ethics committee, but expressed his willingness to co-operate with and appear before the Fifa ethics committee,” the Freeh report states.
"Also through his legal counsel, Mr Bin Hammam provided some documents, but refused to provide his banking records for review and said that requested telephone records do not exist. The lone banking record provided was proof of a wire transfer from Mr Bin Hammam to the CFU on April 28, 2011, in the amount of $363,557.98."
Bin Hammam was forced to withdraw from the FIFA leadership contest against incumbent Sepp Blatter after his suspension from his position on the FIFA executive committee in May.
The Freeh report will form the basis of the evidence against the Qatari during a hearing in front of FIFA’s ethics committee on Friday.
Bin Hammam, also the president of the Asian Football Confederation and a key figure in the award of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, has denied all charges.For all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.