Acting Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Zhang Jilong has accused his suspended predecessor Mohammed bin Hammam of intimidation to cover up wrongdoing during his tenure as chief.
Jilong has written to AFC member associations dismissing claims made by bin Hammam in an October 8 letter – issued by his US-based lawyer Eugene Gulland – which said Jilong had a "conflict of interest in the ongoing AFC Disciplinary Committee action against bin Hammam" and that "he personally benefited from his support".
"The accusations in Mr Gulland's letter are total fabrications designed to tear apart the Asian Football Confederation, divide this family and paralyse our institution. Mr Gulland's allegations are aimed at confusing and delaying the Disciplinary Action against his client," Jilong said in a statement midweek.
The veteran Chinese administrator added that at no stage had he interfered with the ongoing disciplinary action against bin Hammam, who was "being dealt with as provided for under the AFC Statutes and the AFC Disciplinary Code".
Bin Hammam had a lifetime ban from football overturned in court in July. That ban was initially imposed after FIFA found he had bribed Caribbean voters when he challenged Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.
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