AFC upholds latest Bin Hammam suspension despite CAS annulment

The former regional supremo had his FIFA lifetime ban appeal successfully overturned on Thursday, but Asian football's governing body stated he remains suspended
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has confirmed former chief Mohamed bin Hammam remains provisionally suspended by the organization despite the Court of Arbitration for Sport's (CAS) decision to overturn his FIFA lifetime ban. 

The former AFC head, who was suspended for alleged corruption in the lead-up to last year's FIFA's presidential elections, saw his appeal at the CAS on Thursday prove successful.

However, the AFC released a statement confirming their ban on the Qatari remained in place.

"AFC has noted the decision rendered by CAS in the case of Mohamed Bin Hammam versus FIFA by means of which the appeal of Mr Mohamed Bin Hammam has been upheld and the life ban annulled," the statement read.

"As far as AFC is concerned Mr Bin Hammam remains under provisional suspension by AFC via an AFC Disciplinary Committee decision on July 16, 2012, for 30 days for possible violations of the AFC Statutes, AFC Disciplinary Code and AFC Code of Ethics."

The AFC Executive Committee (ExCo) coincidentally met in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, on the same day as Bin Hammam's annulment. The meeting came only days after the AFC imposed a fresh suspension on Bin Hammam following an internal audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

AFC acting president Zhang Jilong spoke about this week's developments, vowing to keep the organization clean and free of corruption.

“I think this development also makes one thing very clear to all of us - there is no place for unethical practices anymore in AFC,” Zhang said. "I ask this ExCo to prevent any abuse of power and misuse of privileges by any office-bearer. I ask this ExCo not to allow anyone to compromise the image of AFC.”

Zhang explained Bin Hammam's latest AFC suspension had come following the creation of the organization's own Disciplinary Committee.

“We set up an Evaluation Committee under Kohzo Tashima-san with three main points of reference. Firstly, to fight corruption, secondly, to improve the AFC administration; and thirdly, to promote financial transparency,” he said.

“We have already taken the first step in this tough task. Our independent auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have submitted their report. And, in accordance with the AFC Code of Ethics, this report was immediately forwarded through the AFC General Secretary to the Honorable Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee.

“The AFC Disciplinary Committee is a completely independent judicial body. They don’t report to this ExCo or the AFC Congress. It is headed by a highly experienced and respected lawyer Lim Kia Tong and I have full confidence in the Chairman and his committee.

"I am confident that we will have a fair, transparent and impartial process.”

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