DOHA, Qatar (CMC) — Mohamed Bin Hammam will continue his fight to clear his name of bribery allegations when his case is heard before the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday in Switzerland.
The former Asian chief has been banned for life from the sport following allegations that he offered US$40,000 to Caribbean Football Union officials at a meeting last May in Trinidad to vote for him during last year's FIFA presidential elections.
Bin Hammam will not attend the hearing in Lausanne, where his attorneys are likely to present a complex case that would allow him to remain president of the Asian Football Confederation until this year's annual general meeting in May.
Zhang Jilong of China was appointed as interim AFC president, after Bin Hammam's suspension last July.
"That does not mean that the existing president has been removed and Mr Jilong or indeed anyone else has replaced him," said a statement issued by his lawyers.
"Mr Bin Hammam does not believe that he has been removed from that FIFA position or that a replacement can be made, save in accordance with the respective constitutions of the AFC and FIFA."
The statement added: "Mr Bin Hammam is taking these steps before CAS to clear his name. Proceedings before CAS are not public and Mr Bin Hammam, therefore, prefers not to make any comments about the conduct of the proceedings.
"As the hearing is wholly concerned with legal argument and there will be no live evidence from either side, Mr Bin Hammam is not proposing to attend in person."
The statement noted that the issues in the case are for the CAS panel alone to decide.
"There will be a separate CAS hearing in spring this year in which Mr Bin Hammam is challenging FIFA's actions in banning him from all football activities," the statement said.
Bin Hammam categorically denied any wrongdoing and his appeal will not necessarily end at the CAS, since he can pursue his case outside the sporting arena at Switzerland's Supreme Court, if he loses.