Former Asian Football Confederation chief Mohammad Bin Hammam has had his lifetime FIFA ban annulled by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
In what is a hugely embarrassing decision for FIFA, the Qatari, who was found guilty by the governing body’s ethics committee last year of paying bribes to Caribbean officials while campaigning against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency, has had his appeal upheld due to a lack of evidence.
FIFA’s ethics committee had originally imposed the lifetime ban for bribery one year ago but, while the news is good for Hammam, it is understood he has not been proven innocent by CAS.
FIFA can launch a fresh case provided the ethics committee has new evidence.
Bin Hamman had been the president of the Asian Football Confederation up until last week, when the FIFA association provisionally suspended him after an internal audit revealed fresh evidence of financial wrongdoing by the Qatari.
Bin Hammam has steadfastly claimed the FIFA action against him was retribution for him having challenged Blatter.