- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

ZURICH (AP) - A former aide to one-time FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam has been banned for life in a bribery case.

FIFA ethics committee judges said Friday that Najeeb Chirakal was involved in “several unethical payments made on behalf of a third party to various football officials between 2009 and 2011.”

It is unclear if those officials who took cash are also under investigation.

In the two-year period to 2011, Bin Hammam was Asian Football Confederation president and a FIFA powerbroker. His FIFA ambitions were fueled by helping Qatar win the hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup.

The ethics committee said charges proven against Chirakal included bribery and corruption, offering gifts, conflicts of interest and failing to cooperate with investigators.

Chirakal worked in Qatar for Bin Hammam, who was banned for life by FIFA in 2012.

Bin Hammam was first banned by FIFA in 2011 over cash payments to Caribbean voters in his failed presidential challenge against Sepp Blatter.

That life ban was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but he was blocked from returning to duty by a second ethics case into financial mismanagement at the AFC, detailed in a forensic audit by accountancy firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

Chirakal was identified by PwC, and in leaked emails published by British newspaper The Sunday Times, as a key link for African and Asian officials seeking cash payments from Bin Hammam.

In October 2012, Chirakal was provisionally suspended by the FIFA ethics court for failing to cooperate with its investigation into his boss.

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