Former Gambian football president Seedy Kinteh has reacted to a four-year ban and $200, 000 fine by Fifa dismissing all claims of bribery he is alleged to have received from Mohamed bin Hammam, a former Fifa presidential candidate from Qatar. Speaking to The Standard over the matter, Kinteh said he has a personal relationship with Hammam dating back to 2001 before he became president of the GFA and that it continued through his time as president of the GFA. “Yes I have made requests of financial assistance to Hammam but purely for football reasons and the bulk of the monies he gave me was spent on our preparations and the actual holding of the Wafu congress we hosted in Banjul in 2011 where all delegates were fully hoarded and activities held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel with the official dinner was held at the Jerma beach Hotel. These are requests I made to him and I wonder how they can be described as bribes when he never offered them in the first place but only after requests made by me. And anytime I made a request for financial assistance to run our programmes it always gets a positive response.” Mr Kinteh said. He further stated that the monies were not even Fifa monies but personal monies of Mr Hammam. “I have used all opportunities to help Gambian football whether through projects or development and progress of the game and thank God we have managed to keep our teams in competitions and have recorded the best results in Gambian football in recent history,” Mr Kinteh said. He said the ban is curious because he had not been in football since about seven years now. He concluded by saying that he has not personally received any information from Fifa but when he does get one, he would consult his legal advisers for a fitting reply to them since all Fifa decisions are not final and are one to appeal. Background International media including AP reported yesterday that FIFA ethics judges have imposed a four-year ban on African soccer official Seedy Kinteh for taking cash gifts from former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar. FIFA says its ethics committee found Kinteh guilty on charges of bribery and corruption, and accepting gifts. He was fined 200,000 Swiss francs ($202,000). Kinteh was named in a 2014 investigation report by FIFA’s then-ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia for taking payments totaling $69,396 from Bin Hammam from February 2010 to April 2011. Then, Kinteh was president of Gambia’s soccer federation and Bin Hammam was a potential then actual candidate for the FIFA presidency. Bin Hammam was suspended in 2011 days before the election against then-president Sepp Blatter after being implicated in bribing Caribbean voters.]]>
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