Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ex Post Facto?

So for the law geeks out there the clause, from COTUS Article 1, Section 9, Clause 3, states (in the most coarse terms) that an adjudicating body can't go back and change the consequences for a crime after the fact.

Like everything else, it is way more complicated than that, but you get the point.

So I was reading that Bin Hammam has been banned by FIFA, for a second time, after being held "not guilty" by CAS (in a 2 - 1 vote).

Take a peek at this article from Business World. Of particular note was the following:

(The first life ban) was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in July, but FIFA handed out another life ban on Monday and said he would never be active in organized football again.

I had to laugh at this. So Bin Hammam gets "cleared" by CAS, and FIFA turns around and as soon as he walks out the proverbial door, slaps him with another life ban. Nice.

Why ever would they do that?

This suspension was not in connection with bribery allegations during the election campaign but for "conflicts of interest" while he was president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

Now this one was just about laugh out loud funny. How many conflict of interest issues have other members of FIFA, like Sepp, been involved with? Clearly we must be talking about something current, right?

"That report showed repeated violations of Article 19 (Conflict of Interest) of the FIFA Code of Ethics, edition 2012, of Mohamed Bin Hammam during his terms as AFC President and as member of the FIFA Executive Committee in the years 2008 to 2011, which justified a life-long ban from all football-related activity."

So if I'm reading this right, FIFA banned him for life, again, after banning him the first time, and having that overturned by CAS, and based on conflict of interest violations that occurred in 2008 to 2011, yet were only considered conflict of interest violations in 2012.


How seriously can we take these clowns at FIFA?

Really ... I know this is a harsh statement, but come on. Is there a procedure to be followed? This one is such an incredible stretch that it loses all sense of credibility.

Listen, do I think Bin Hammam was caught up in some unethical behavior? My sense is yes, without any evidence, but there is enough smoke circling around to get a picture. Even CAS in their ruling hinted at what they thought was unethical behavior. (Not that I hold CAS in any high regard after the Contador affair ...)

BUT ...

FIFA has to play by the rules here. Clearly they wanted Bin Hammam out, and if I had to guess it was because he had the audacity to challenge Sepp for the presidency. How pathetic is that to take retribution out on a previous opponent by banning him for life, twice, for some procedural, fabricated, rubbish.

How seriously can we continue to take FIFA?

Now is there anything stopping FIFA legally from doing this? Nope, and I recognize that. They can do it.

I also recognize that it is nonsense, and they should really be embarrassed by their conduct.

I suspect they will not be.

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