Soccer-FIFA completes investigation into Bin Hammam, renews ban

Reuters Middle East

ZURICH, Dec 6 (Reuters) - FIFA's ethics committee has completed its latest investigation into former presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam and extended his provisional ban pending a final verdict, soccer's world governing body said Thursday.

Bin Hammam's life ban was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in July but FIFA launched a new probe one week later as it searched for fresh evidence and banned him again.

Michael Garcia, head of the ethics committee's investigatory chamber, completed his investigation on Tuesday and sent the files to Hans-Joachim Eckert, head of the adjudicatory chamber, FIFA said.

Former Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Bin Hammam has been given until mid-January to respond to the charges in the report. His provisional 45-day ban, due to end Friday, was extended due to the "seriousness of the alleged violations".

Bin Hammam was accused of trying to buy the presidential votes of Caribbean officials by handing them $40,000 each in brown envelopes at a meeting in Port of Spain one month before he was due to challenge Sepp Blatter in last year's FIFA presidential election.

He withdrew his candidacy and was subsequently banned pending investigations. Blatter was re-elected unopposed for a fourth term as FIFA president.

Bin Hammam was then banned for life after being found guilty of breaking seven articles of FIFA's ethics code, including one on bribery. (Writing by Brian Homewood in Lausanne; Editing by Ed Osmond,; +41 79 917 1402 Reuters Messaging:

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