Qatari official disputes FIFA accusation

Doha—A senior Qatari official facing a possible two-and-a-half-year ban following a recent FIFA investigation said he hopes a “full and fair” review of his case will exonerate him.
The ban against Saoud Al-Mohannadi was recommended in August by FIFA’s ethics commission which said that the Qatar Football Association (QFA) vice-president had refused to cooperate with an inquiry.
Although FIFA has not said what was the subject of the inquiry, it is not connected with the 2022 World Cup, which Qatar will host. However Mohannadi has disputed FIFA’s claim in his first statement since the commission’s recommendation.
“I am confident that a full and fair review of the matter will confirm that I have co-operated extensively and candidly… with the Ethics Committee to the best of my ability,” he said in a statement posted on the QFA website.
Adding to the intrigue surrounding Mohannadi, he is also a candidate for upcoming elections to FIFA’s ruling council after being passed as eligible to stand by football’s governing body.
The vote, for the two Asian spots on the council, will take place later this month.
Mohannadi added that he was “disappointed” with the commission’s recommendation, and would continue to run for election. “The experience of this campaign, along with the endorsements I have received, leaves me more convinced than ever of the value I have to offer after a long and successful career in football administration,” he said.
He has the backing of the QFA, which previously took aim at FIFA, saying the commission’s findings were published before Mohannadi had viewed the report.
FIFA has also recommended that the Qatari be fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,400, 18,600 euros).
The recommendation by the ethics commission’s investigators will be decided by FIFA’s adjudicatory chamber.—APP

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