Bin Hammam faces FIFA hearing over bribery claims

By GRAHAM DUNBAR and ROB HARRIS | May 29, 2011 | 10:29 AM EDT

FILE - In this May 10, 2011 file picture Mohamed bin Hammam, chief of the Asian Football Confederation, talks to local media in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. Mohamed bin Hammam withdrew Sunday May 29, 2011 from FIFA's presidential election, hours before facing an ethics hearing over alleged corruption during the campaign. The Qatari challenger to 13-year incumbent Sepp Blatter has been accused of arranging bribes for up to 25 presidential voters on a campaign visit to the Caribbean earlier this month. Bin Hammam as well as Blatter and FIFA Vice President Jack Warner are due to face a FIFA ethics hearing on Sunday, with the election scheduled for Wednesday. (AP Photo/Shirley Bahadur, File)

ZURICH (AP) — Mohamed bin Hammam has gone before a FIFA bribery hearing, hours after withdrawing his challenge to incumbent Sepp Blatter in the presidential election.

Bin Hammam has been accused of paying voters during a campaign visit to the Caribbean. The scandal has also implicated FIFA Vice President Jack Warner, who was summoned by the same ethics panel.

Blatter also answered allegations that he ignored bribe payments in the most serious corruption crisis of his 13-year reign. Soccer's governing body has been tarnished by repeated allegations of vote-buying and financial wrongdoing.

Soccer great Franz Beckenbauer, who retires as a member of FIFA's executive committee next week, on Sunday described the crisis as a "disaster for football."