World football governing body Fifa announced on Wednesday they have opened a corruption probe into four officials including Qatar’s Mohamed Bin Hammam and Trinidadian Jack Warner.
They are accused of possible fraud and ethics violations in connection with the forthcoming election for the Fifa presidency on June 1 when Bin Hammam will challenge former ally Sepp Blatter, who is seeking a fourth and final four-year term.
Bin Hammam (61) is currently president of the Asian Football Confederation while Warner (68) is Fifa vice-president and Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) president.
The probe also concerns Caribbean Football Union officials Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester.
The defence of the four will be heard on May 27 and they will appear before Fifa’s ethics committee in Zurich on May 29.
The affair follows information brought to the attention of Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke by Fifa’s US executive committee member Chuck Blazer, who is also Concacaf secretary general, on May 24.
Blazer’s accusations concern a meeting of the Caribbean football confederation which was organised jointly by Warner and Bin Hammam on May 10-11. The meeting concerned the forthcoming Fifa election.
Bin Hammam was the inspiration for Qatar’s stunning success in the race to host the 2022 World Cup. — AFP