By Andrew Warshaw
April 20 – Saoud Al-Mohannadi, the Qatari official who won a landmark appeal after being disqualified from standing as an Asian member of FIFA’s ruling Council, has hit back at the original judgement and says he is considering putting his name forward again.
In a rare defeat for FIFA’s ethics apparatus, which has seen plenty of sanctions reduced but hardly any overturned, FIFA’s appeals body ruled earlier this month that Al-Mohannadi was wrongly barred for one year last November for allegedly failing to cooperate with an ethics investigation.
In his first public comment since winning his appeal against FIFA’s ethics committee, the Qatari says the ruling was purely political.
“I was condemned with the wrong decision and it just took the appeals committee of FIFA to see that,” Al-Mohannadi told AFP. “They didn’t have a case, they knew that it was political.”
“I wanted to clear my name after all these years in football, you know you don’t want to end your career with suspicion, especially if you had no wrongdoing.”
The case of Al-Mohannadi, a vice-president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and of the Qatari FA, emerged in September, just days before AFC members were due to elect delegates to represent them on FIFA’s ruling Council
When Al-Mohannadi’s candidacy was blocked (he was barred from standing while the matter was investigated), the AFC postponed the ballot in protest, dramatically calling off its extraordinary Congress in Goa after just 27 minutes.
Fresh elections will now be held in Bahrain next month just before the FIFA Congress and although he is not on the new candidate list because he remained banned when the entry deadline passed in January, he says he has not given up hope.
Asked if he still might put his name forward, Al-Mohannadi said he was “examining” the issue.
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