DUBAI - The Associated Press
Mohamed bin Hammam said accusations he enriched his family and supporters while serving as president of Asian football are politically motivated and he plans to fight “this clear abuse of power and process at the hand of FIFA.”
In a letter to 20 Asian associations, bin Hammam said he made payments to officials and others but said they came out of his own bank accounts and were driven by a desire to help those in need, including Zhang Jilong, the current AFC chief who ordered the PriceWaterhouseCoopers audit that instigated the probe by FIFA’s ethics committee.
“Jilong was one of those who came to me for financial support and I helped him with a significant amount from my personal account,” bin Hammam wrote. “I will leave him to explain the circumstances of this to you.”
Bin Hammam had a lifetime football ban overturned in court in July following allegations he bribed Caribbean voters when he challenged Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.
“This, of course, is yet another attempt by Zurich through the infinite tools and power of FIFA to diminish and insult Asia’s name by attacking me directly following the annulment of my previous FIFA ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” bin Hammam wrote.