MUMBAI (Reuters) - Qatari soccer official Saoud Al-Mohannadi has missed the deadline to stand for a place on the FIFA Council despite having his one-year ban overturned, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said on Friday.
Al-Mohannadi, a vice-president of the AFC and Qatar Football Association (QFA), was one of the favourites to win a seat on the Council but was barred by FIFA two days before the election at an AFC extraordinary congress in Goa in September.
With FIFA President Gianni Infantino watching on, delegates infuriated by last-minute disqualification overwhelmingly voted down the agenda of the meeting, forcing the elections to be postponed.
Two months later, Al-Mohannadi was handed the one-year ban from football by FIFA’s ethics watchdog for failing to cooperate as a witness in an investigation.
FIFA’s Appeal Committee overturned the ban on Thursday because there was insufficient evidence to establish that Al-Mohannadi had violated the code of ethics. It also rescinded a$20,000 fine.
The decision, however, came too late for the Qatari to get back in the mix for the rescheduled elections at the AFC Congress in Bahrain in May.
“Sauod Al Mohannadi has not submitted his name to contest an AFC seat on the FIFA Council in the election which will be held on May 8, 2017,” the AFC said in a statement to Reuters.
“The deadline for the submission of the names of candidates was on January 31, 2017.”
The FIFA Council replaced the largely discredited Executive Committee as FIFA’s decision-making body under reforms instituted in the wake of the 2015 corruption scandal in soccer’s world governing body.
Candidates vying for the four available AFC seats on the Council were cleared to stand for election by the world governing body last month. The four spots include one reserved for women.
The four successful candidates will represent Asia on the body along with Bahraini vice president Shaikh Salman and members from Japan and Malaysia.
Editing by Nick Mulvenney