The Adjudicatory Chamber of FIFA’s Ethics Committee has officially opened formal proceedings against Qatar Football Association (QFA) vice-president Saoud Al-Mohannadi, it was announced today.
The Investigatory Chamber recommended Al-Mohannadi, who was working as QFA general secretary when the country’s successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup was launched, be suspended for 30 months and be fined a total of CHF20,000 (£15,500/$21,000/€18,000).
Al-Mohannadi is alleged to have committed a series of ethics breaches, including duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting and general obligation to collaborate with an investigation.
World football’s governing body has not revealed the exact reason for the probe but confirmed it was not related to the ongoing investigation into the bid processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, won by Russia and Qatar respectively.
"The investigations concerning Mr Al-Mohannadi were conducted by Djimbaraye Bourngar, deputy chairman of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, and the final report was passed to the adjudicatory chamber on 26 August 2016," FIFA said in a statement.
"For reasons linked to privacy rights and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the adjudicatory chamber will not publish further details at the present time."
The QFA general secretary still hopes to secure Asia’s seat on FIFA’s ruling Council, the former Executive Committee which was rebranded as part of a series of sweeping reforms aimed at repairing the reputation of the organisation, despite the accusations against him,
Al-Mohannadi has the backing of the QFA, the body said following the release of the Investigatory Chamber report late last month.
The QFA originally claimed he had not seen the report and, therefore, could not comment but they described the charges as “without legitimate basis".
"However, he as well as the QFA are both confident that a full and fair review of the matter will confirm that he has cooperated extensively and candidly with the Ethics Committee and that any charges against him are without legitimate basis," the statement read.
The QFA are also fully behind his candidacy for the FIFA Council, though he will have to undergo an eligibility check before he is formally allowed to stand.
Al-Mohannadi was weighing up a bid for a seat on the FIFA Executive Committee last year but withdrew from the race because he felt Asia should support one candidate.