Saudi FA chief: Hammam suspension not an 'Arab' issue

Prince Nawaf bin Faisal, the president of the Saudi Arabia Football Association, reportedly sees the suspension of Mr Mohamed bin Hammam from the FIFA executive committee and the presidency of the Asian Football Confederation as an international rather than regional issue.

Mr Bin Hammam has been temporarily suspended from all football positions by the FIFA Ethics Committee pending an investigation into corruption charges. The prominent Qatari was therefore barred entry to the 61st FIFA Congress held in Europe.

“What he has been facing now is purely an international issue and it has no relation whatsoever with any Arab or other states. As a sports issue, the concerned committee under FIFA is examining the matter and none else can interfere in its activities,” the prince told Al-Watan Arabic daily on his return from the FIFA Congress.

“I am sure that the issue would take its legal course, and that the rights of all those concerned would be safeguarded. Bin Hammam has the capability to take the necessary legal procedures in this respect,” he said.

Prince Nawaf thanked re-elected FIFA president Sepp Blatter for his proposal to shift power to award future World Cup hosting rights to the 208-member congress. “Blatter has also promised to conduct the election of members of the ethics committee and other related committees from among the member states. This is a positive step with regard to the functioning of FIFA,” he said.