FIFA prosecutor Garcia opens bin Hammam probe



ZURICH (AP) — FIFA prosecutor Michael Garcia has formally opened investigations into bribery and financial misconduct allegations against former presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam.

FIFA says Garcia has launched official cases after provisionally suspending bin Hammam for 90 days last month to “prevent interference” while he builds a case.

Garcia is studying an audit of Asian Football Confederation finances that suggests mismanagement of accounts and billion-dollar contracts under the Qatari official’s leadership.

Garcia also seeks new evidence that bin Hammam bribed Caribbean voters while challenging FIFA President Sepp Blatter last year. The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled FIFA failed to prove the allegation and lifted bin Hammam’s life ban from soccer last month.

Bin Hammam claims FIFA is pursuing a vendetta.

It’s Garcia’s first case since being appointed FIFA’s independent prosecutor.