Ex-AFC official urges charges against bin Hammam

Updated 18 December 2012
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Ex-AFC official urges charges against bin Hammam

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: Former Asian football administrator Peter Velappan said Tuesday that Mohamed bin Hammam should not escape punishment for alleged corruption despite resigning from all football-related positions and accepting a new life ban from FIFA.
Bin Hammam, a FIFA executive committee member from Qatar who challenged incumbent Sepp Blatter for the presidency last year, gave up his long-running dispute with football’s world governing body after being found guilty by FIFA of violations of its code of ethics while head of the Asian Football Confederation.
Velappan, who was AFC general secretary from 1978 to 2007, told the Associated Press the AFC and FIFA should pursue investigations into alleged corruption and misappropriation of funds by bin Hammam.
“This is his Christmas gift. He has no other choice but to resign, but it doesn’t mean that he should be let off the hook,” Velappan said. “Fair play should not be just on the field but also off the field. If bin Hammam has breached fair play, he must be made accountable and be charged.”
FIFA said the 63-year-old bin Hammam sent a resignation letter to both FIFA and the AFC on Saturday. It said the second life ban is a result of the final report from its ethics committee showing “repeated violations” of ethics during bin Hammam’s term as AFC president and member of the FIFA executive committee.
AFC officials couldn’t be reached for immediate comment Tuesday.
The AFC plans to elect a new president next April, ending uncertainty since bin Hammam was suspended by FIFA last year. Acting president Zhang Jilong is considered the front runner to take up the post.
FIFA handed bin Hammam a life ban last year after he was found guilty of bribing voters in a campaign to unseat Blatter, but the ban was lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Bin Hammam has denied any wrongdoing, claiming the FIFA probe was politically motivated to protect Blatter.
FIFA has said evidence from whistleblowers pointed to bin Hammam handing out $40,000 bribes in cash to each of 24 Caribbean football nations during his campaign visit to Trinidad. A yearlong audit by the Malaysia-based AFC also revealed “infringements” regarding the “execution of certain contracts” and tampering with the organization’s bank accounts by bin Hammam while he was president.
As a result, the AFC ordered probes into how bin Hammam managed the accounts.
“I urge the AFC and FIFA to pursue charges against bin Hammam. This must be made a lesson to all future leaders that they cannot abuse their powers and escape with it,” Velappan said.


Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to win Champions League

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale celebrates scoring their third goal. (REUTERS/Andrew Boyers)
Updated 27 May 2018
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Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 to win Champions League

  • adrid is the first team to achieve that feat since Bayern Munich in 1976. This is their fourth title in five years, and their 13th overall.
  • Jurgen Klopp’s and Liverpool’s own evening was marred by the loss of a distraught Mohamed Salah to injury in the first half, the Egyptian coming off half an hour in having damaged his shoulder.

KIEV, Ukraine: Gareth Bale’s eye-catching scissor-kick helped Real Madrid to a third successive Champions League title on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over a Liverpool side thwarted by a pair of goalkeeping blunders and Mohamed Salah being forced off injured.

Bale’s jaw-dropping overhead kick put Real 2-1 up moments after his introduction, following a dramatic start to the second half in which Karim Benzema gave Real the lead as a result of a Loris Karius howler.

Sadio Mane had briefly restored parity, but Bale put Real in front again and then made it 3-1 late on with a long-range strike that the unfortunate Karius could only punch into the net.

Jurgen Klopp’s and Liverpool’s own evening was marred by the loss of a distraught Mohamed Salah to injury in the first half, the Egyptian coming off half an hour in having damaged his shoulder.

This was not to be Salah’s night, with Real allowing Zinedine Zidane to become the first coach ever to win the Champions League three years in a row.

Madrid is the first team to achieve that feat since Bayern Munich in 1976. This is their fourth title in five years, and their 13th overall.

Cristiano Ronaldo has now won five in his great career, but even he could not argue that this was Bale’s evening.

The Welshman had been tipped to feature in the Real starting line-up but in the end was left out for Isco — just as he had been in the final win over Juventus last year — before making an emphatic impact as a substitute.

For Liverpool, this game will be remembered for the disaster that befell goalkeeper Karius in the second half, and for Salah’s tears as he departed the pitch at the NSC Olympiyskyi.

The Egyptian hurt his left shoulder as he went down in a challenge with Sergio Ramos in the 25th minute. Five minutes later he made way for Adam Lallana.

His presence at the World Cup could now be in doubt, as could that of Dani Carvajal — the Real right-back came off with a hamstring injury before the interval.

Those injuries temporarily took the sting out of the game after an enthralling start, with Liverpool on top.

It had been uncomfortable for Real, but after Salah departed, they sensed their chance. They even had the ball in the net in the 43rd minute, only to be denied by a marginal offside call.

Ronaldo’s header from Isco’s cross was parried by Karius, and Benzema turned in the loose ball, but the Frenchman had come from a fraction ahead of the last defender and the flag came up.

If that was a let-off for Liverpool, they were their own worst enemies at the start of the second half.

Isco struck the bar after Lallana diverted the ball into his path, before Benzema opened the scoring in the 51st minute.

It was a moment of unbelievable carelessness from Karius, who attempted to roll the ball out to the nearest red shirt only for Benzema to stick out a leg and send it trickling into the net.

Klopp’s side really could have let their heads drop, and yet they were soon back level, Mane turning the ball in after Dejan Lovren headed down James Milner’s corner.

But their renewed hope was crushed upon the introduction of Bale.

The Welshman had been on the field barely two minutes when he met Marcelo’s cross from the left with an improbable leap, back to goal, 15 yards out, to send an overhead kick on his left foot arcing over Karius and in.

Such a strike deserved to be the winner, although it was his long-range shot that beat the embarrassed Karius in the 83rd minute that made sure of the victory.

Mane hit the post for Liverpool in between Bale’s strikes, but they will have to wait a while yet before winning their sixth European Cup.