Bin Hammam loses FIFA appeal against life ban

FIFA has dismissed Mohamed bin Hammam's appeal against a life ban from football for allegedly offering bribes to presidential election voters.

FIFA dismissed Mohamed bin Hammam's appeal Thursday against a life ban from soccer for allegedly offering bribes to presidential election voters.

FIFA said its three-man appeal panel met for seven hours before upholding a July ruling by its ethics committee to expel bin Hammam.

"The sanction of being banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity [administrative, sports or any other] at national and international level for life has therefore been maintained," the governing body said in a statement.

Bin Hammam previously said he expected to lose the appeal and would challenge FIFA's verdicts at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Writing on his personal website last month, he said he appealed "not hoping for justice to prevail but as a protocol to enable me to obtain access" to CAS.

The Qatari official must go through FIFA's internal appeals system before taking his case to international sport's highest court in Lausanne.

FIFA is scheduled to provide bin Hammam's lawyers with the written grounds for its appeals ruling within several weeks, allowing him to file his next legal challenge.

Bin Hammam, a 15-year veteran of FIFA's executive committee, denies arranging to bribe Caribbean voters with US$40,000 cash payments in May to support his election challenge to FIFA President Sepp Blatter. He later dropped out of the race three days before Blatter was re-elected unopposed.

Bin Hammam denies wrongdoing and has accused Blatter of orchestrating the bribery allegations to ensure the Swiss official would get a fourth and final four-year term in office.

FIFA said bin Hammam's appeal was judged by Francisco Acosta of Ecuador, Fernando Mitjans of Argentina and Augustin Senghor of Senegal.