The Straits Times
Published on Oct 17, 2012

AFC boss slams Hammam 'intimidation'


KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - The Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) acting chief Zhang Jilong has criticised sidelined president Mohamed Bin Hammam for attempting to derail an investigation into alleged financial wrongdoing by the Qatari through the use of "intimidation".

Responding to a letter dated Oct 8, Zhang said Hammam was trying to "intimidate and create technical legal issues and objections in the hope that the more serious allegations of secret commissions, bribery, corruption and other wrongdoings are never exposed to the light of day".

The AFC, which Hammam headed for nearly 10 years, provisionally suspended him for 30 days on July 16 and then invoked a clause which allows them to extend the ban by 20 days.

Zhang wrote to the AFC's member associations to deny any "conflict of interest in the ongoing AFC Disciplinary Committee action against Hammam" or that he had "personally benefited from his support".