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Former Bin Hammam aide suspended by FIFA in bribery probe

Water flows over the FIFA logo in front of the FIFA headquarters during heavy rainfall in Zurich July 22, 2011. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
Water flows over the FIFA logo in front of the FIFA headquarters during heavy rainfall in Zurich July 22, 2011. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

LONDON (Reuters) - An official who works for Mohamed Bin Hammam has been suspended from all football-related activity for failing to cooperate with an investigation into the former FIFA presidential candidate, the governing body said on Tuesday.

Najeeb Chirakal, who works for the Qatar FA, has been banned by FIFA's ethics committee for two months or until he cooperates with the proceedings, whichever comes first.

"The ban is effective immediately and will last for two months or until Chirakal cooperates with these proceedings as requested, whichever is earlier," FIFA said in a statement.

Bin Hammam is being investigated over alleged bribery claims during his campaign to unseat FIFA president Sepp Blatter in last year's presidential election.

The 63-year-old Qatari also faces allegations of financial mismanagement in his role as Asian Football Confederation president.

Bin Hammam has denied any wrongdoing.

Chirakal had been asked to provide information and documents by the secretary to the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee but failed to respond, the FIFA statement added.

Bin Hammam, who was standing against Blatter in last year's presidential election until he was suspended for alleged bribery, was later banned by FIFA for life over the allegations.

The ban was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in July after CAS ruled there was insufficient evidence.

The case is being reviewed by Michael Garcia, chairman of the investigatory chamber of FIFA's revamped ethics committee.

(Writing by Mike Collett; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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