November 15 – FIFA ethics judges have opened formal proceedings against Najeeb Chirakal, a former aide to disgraced ex-Asian football chief Mohamed bin Hammam, based on the final report submitted by ethics investigators who recommended a life ban.
In a brief statement, FIFA’s ethics adjudicatory chamber said Chirakal “will be invited to submit his position including any evidence with regard to the final report of the investigatory chamber (art. 70 par. 2 of the FIFA Code of Ethics (FCE)) and may request a hearing (art. 74 par. 2 of the FCE). For reasons linked to privacy rights and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the adjudicatory chamber will not publish further details at the present time.”
Chirakal is alleged to have breached seven parts of the ethics code, with the investigation having focused mainly “on his involvement in payments to several football officials.”
Charges include bribery and corruption, offering gifts, conflicts of interest and failing to co-operate with investigators. Chirakal was based in Qatar and worked for Bin Hammam, banned for life by FIFA in 2012 as a result of the infamous cash-for-votes scandal when he sought to challenge Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.
Although that was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the FIFA ethics committee banned Bin Hammam for a second time in December 2012, this time over financial mismanagement of the Asian Football Confederation, blocking him from returning to duty.
Chirakal has previously been identified as allegedly the middleman for African and Asian officials seeking cash payments from Bin Hammam. In October 2012, he was provisionally suspended for failing to co-operate with an investigation into Bin Hammam. At that time he had been asked “to provide information and documents, and failed to respond.”
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