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FIFA clear Blatter, suspend bin Hammam

sports Updated: May 30, 2011 02:09 IST

AFP
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The FIFA ethics committee suspended one-time presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam and FIFA vice-president Jack Warner on Sunday while clearing FIFA president Sepp Blatter of corruption.

The committee, chaired by Nambibian Petrus Damaseb, heard 62-year-old Qatari bin Hammam, Warner and Blatter during a dramatic day which had started with bin Hammam withdrawing from the presidential election in which he was Blatter's sole opponent.

The FIFA presidential election will go ahead as planned on June 1, announced FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke after the ethics committee announced its findings.

"Both bin Hammam and Warner were provisionally banned from future activity in football while a full investigation is carried out" announced Damaseb.

"There, they can confront their accusers.

"The critical consideration is to ensure the investigation is not compromised."

Bin Hammam, Warner and two Caribbean Football Union (CFU) officials had been summoned to the ethics committee to answer corruption allegations but the two CFU officials failed to appear despite FIFA offeirng to fly them in at their own expense.

Bin Hammam and Warner were targeted after Chuck Blazer, general secretary of regional football body CONCACAF, reported possible misdeeds during a May 10 and 11 meeting in Trinidad.

Bin Hammam and Warner were accused of offering $40,000 (28,000 euros) in cash gifts to national associations at the Trinidad conference in return for their votes in the presidential election.

Blatter, 75, had been summoned to appear before the ethics committee to answer claims that Warner had told him in advance of alleged payments made at the meeting.

He strongly denied that and his version of events was accepted by the ethics committee.