ZURICH — Former Fifa presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam’s lifetime ban for bribery has been annulled by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Bin Hammam was accused of attempting to buy votes ahead of last year’s Fifa presidential election.
Fifa later banned him from being involved “in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level for life”.
But Cas said there was insufficient evidence to support the ban.
However, the body stressed that its decision did not make any sort of “affirmative finding of innocence in relation to Bin Hammam”.
“The panel is doing no more than concluding that the evidence is insufficient in that it does not permit the majority of the panel to reach the standard of comfortable satisfaction in relation to the matters on which the appellant was charged,” the report said.
Fifa said it noted Cas’ decision “with concern”, and added that Bin Hammam would remain suspended until a separate disciplinary investigation by the Asian Football Confederation was completed.
Bin Hammam (62) along with former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner, was suspended after a leaked report revealed four Caribbean Football Union associations were either offered money, or saw the incident occur, during a meeting last May.
It was alleged that cash-stuffed envelopes containing up to $40 000 (£25 000) were handed to the delegates during the meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
Outlining its decision to annul the ban, Cas, in its report, said: “This conclusion should not be taken to diminish the significance of its finding that it is more likely than not that Bin Hammam was the source of the monies that were brought into Trinidad and Tobago and eventually distributed at the meeting by Warner.”