Japan demands FIFA explanation for bin Hammam ban

Tokyo: Japan`s football chief has demanded a detailed explanation from football`s world governing body FIFA on its decision to ban Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohamed bin Hammam for corruption.

"There is a need for FIFA to give us the reason for the life ban," Japan Football Association president Junji Ogura said, according to Japanese newspapers on Wednesday.

Ogura was also quoted as saying: "For the sake of the AFC`s sound progress, there is a need to hold a presidential election by holding an extraordinary general assembly because it was a life ban."

The AFC is due to hold an executive board meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

On Saturday FIFA`s ethics committee banned bin Hammam from all football related activity at national or international level after being found guilty of graft during the ruling body`s presidential election in June.

The 62-year-old Qatari, who was instrumental in helping Qatar win the rights to host the 2022 World Cup, had been accused of trying to buy votes with $40,000 in cash gifts to Caribbean football officials.

Ogura told the newspapers that he had received a letter from bin Hammam which emphasised his innocence.

"I have not done anything wrong. I have no intention to resign as the AFC president and as a FIFA executive," Ogura quoted bin Hammam as as saying in the letter.

"I don`t think the FIFA decision was right," the Qatari said. "I will ask the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to make a right decision."

The Lausanne-based CAS is the world`s highest sporting judicial authority.

Bureau Report

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