The vice-president of Qatar’s Football Association has been barred from standing for a place on the expanded FIFA Council.
The judgment of Saoud Aziz Al-Mohannadi and his own federation in putting his name forward will come under critical scrutiny as well as the order from the ethics chamber of the world football federation.
Al-Mohannadi had been one of four candidates from whom the Asian Football Confederation was due to choose two additional delegates in an extraordinary congress in Goa on Tuesday [September 27].
The remaining three candidates are Chinese federation general secretary Zhang Jian, Iran’s former IFF president and AFC vice-president Ali Kafashian Naeni plus Singapore FA president Zainudin Nordin.
A curt statement from AFC announced the decision that Al-Mohannadi was not eligible to stand “based on the report of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA ethics committee.”
On August 26 the FIFA ethics committee published the conclusions of an inquiry conducted by deputy chair Djimbaraye Bourngar into the conduct of the former general secretary of the QFA.
Bourngar recommended that ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert ban Al-Mohannadi for “no less than two years and six months and a fine of no less than SFr20,000” for violating regulations concerning general conduct and cooperation.
A statement said the investigation “concerned his failure to properly cooperate and provide truthful information to the investigatory chamber in the framework of another investigation not related to the awarding of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.”
While Al-Mohannadi benefits from a presumption of innocence pending Eckert’s decision, he remained under threat of a suspension which would nullify his ability to take up a FIFA Council role.
Qatar, despite being 2022 World Cup host, has never been represented at the top table of the world game.
Tuesday’s AFC election congress must also vote for a female member of FIFA Council between Moya Dodd (Australia), Mahfuza Ahkter (Bangladesh) and Han Un Gyong (North Korea).
Dodd, a former AFC vice-president, has worked tirelessly to raise the profile of women not only in football but in sport generally, which fits the stated aims of not only FIFA president Gianni Infantino but the International Olympic Committee. She has been a co-opted member of the former FIFA executive committee.