Mohamed Bin Hammam has released an open letter to all media members on his personal website. The letter is as a reaction to the media coverage of Bin Hammam’s lifetime ban, which was announced by FIFA’s Ethics Committee yesterday.
Mohamed Bin Hammam’s letter to the media:
Dear friends of the media,
FIFA will need to publish the reasons for its decision. Since I intend to appeal, I hope you will understand that I cannot comment further on the many issues that have been raised by you at this stage. It is a matter of evidence in the proceedings.
The issue is whether I did something that was against the FIFA rules. I believe FIFA alleged that I used cash to obtain votes. That is for them to prove and I can tell you categorically that I did not.
Although the FIFA charges have never been made clear to me before the hearing took place, now I have been convicted of offering bribes for votes. I have never done that and this is why I will do whatever that is necessary to clear my name.
Given that I have been banned for life, subject to my appeals, there has always been a burden of proof on FIFA to explain the charges and then to establish its case beyond any reasonable doubt. I was astonished to hear that the Ethics Committee was very unsure what the charges were and could not agree between themselves. I believe that there was not a single piece of evidence FIFA had offered to show that I gave money to any delegates for votes.
If you wish to hear the evidence presented for and against at the hearing in an impartial way, then my lawyers have already said and requested that the transcript should be made available to the media by FIFA so that you can judge the evidence and testimony for yourself. I have nothing to hide and I hope FIFA will not use confidentiality as an excuse. After all, FIFA’s record towards revealing confidential information to the media during these proceedings speaks for itself. Nonetheless, I am the affected party and I assure FIFA that I will never sue them for releasing the transcript of the proceedings.
I appreciate that the individual members of the Ethics Committee were there to do a job and I do not wish to comment on them. This is the most serious of issues for anyone to ever have to face. My entire reputation and history are on the line. Given how the panel is appointed, does anyone really expect them to take any decision against FIFA? That is not justice. I need justice.
It has been suggested that I did not appear before the Ethics Committee. This is not the case. I appeared before them, before the provisional measures were announced and answered all their questions.
It has also been suggested that I did not provide the Ethics Committee with my bank statements. I refused to submit the same because of the sensitivity of these documents and continuous leakages of confidential information to the media by FIFA officials.
However, during the hearing, I made my bank account statements available to the Ethics Committee and gave them the right to look for the information they required.
My legal team went further and agreed to submit one copy to any member of the Ethics Committee who would and should guarantee and be responsible for the confidentiality of these documents.
None of the members of the Ethics Committee accepted this responsibility.
Whatever information I can provide to the media to ease their duty, I would be happy to do so voluntarily in due course.
I would very much appreciate that the members of the media understand my appeal and respond accordingly.