[h=1]Mohamed bin Hammam talks of war at Fifa after life ban[/h] Qatari rejects findings of ethics committee and vows to continue fight through other legal routes Share reddit this Comments (26) Petrus Damaseb, the acting chairman of Fifa's ethics committee, hinted that those who received bribes from Mohamed bin Hammam during his presidential bid could come under scrutiny. Photograph: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters Mohamed bin Hammam last night became the most senior Fifa official ever to receive a life ban from football activity as their ethics committee found him guilty of seven counts of misconduct including bribery. And as Bin Hammam talked of "war" at Fifa, there were strong hints that other powerful officials could face investigation. The committee's judgment was based on claims that Bin Hammam was behind the payment of $1m (£613,000) in cash given in brown envelopes to the delegates who attended a meeting of the Caribbean Football Union in May. At the time of the event, the Qatari was standing as a candidate for the Fifa presidency. Yesterday's decision, which saw Bin Hammam's co-defendants, the CFU officials Jason Sylvester and Debbie Minguell, receive one-year bans, appears not to be the last time Fifa will be embroiled in a lengthening corruption scandal. The other accused party, the Fifa vice-president Jack Warner, avoided scrutiny and sanction by resigning all his football posts last month. But, in handing down his judgment, the committee's acting chairman, Petrus Damaseb, gave hints that those who received bribes could come under the ethics committee's scrutiny. And in an intriguing development there are also noises that those who accompanied Bin Hammam at the CFU meeting could come under the regulatory microscope. "The evidence laid before us shows there are other people that need to explain certain things that took place that must be further investigated," said Damaseb. That suggests obliquely that a further inquiry could look at the conduct of three other Fifa executive-committee members who travelled to Bin Hammam's hustings in the Caribbean. They were the Thai Worawi Makudi, the Sri Lankan Manuel Fernando and the Egyptian Hany Abou Rida, none of whom has obvious links to the region. As Damaseb spoke of Fifa's "zero-tolerance" approach to corruption, it is clear world football's rulers have been reeling from the damage suffered to their reputation following Bin Hammam's aborted Fifa presidential campaign. But there will be more to come. In a coordinated response from his legal team and his own Twitter feed, Bin Hammam responded within seconds of the ruling. "This is just the battle, not the war," he wrote. "I reject the findings and maintain my innocence and will continue to fight through the legal routes available. The Fifa ethics committee have apparently based their decision upon so called 'circumstantial' evidence. We are confident of the strength of our case and invite Fifa to make available now to the media a full transcript of these proceedings." The decision was reached yesterday after two days of hearings at Fifa's Zurich headquarters but the ethics committee have not released their reasons, which will not be made public for some weeks. It was, however, confirmed that Bin Hammam had declined the opportunity to appear before the five-man committee. He is now threatening to take his case to a civil court outside football's structures, which would provide for an open and transparent hearing after two separate ethics-committee meetings held in closed session. But it would also infuriate Fifa, who are determined to maintain all disputes within its own judicial procedures. As the atmosphere at Fifa House soured following the judgment last night, there were then dark allegations expressed by Bin Hammam's lead counsel. "The Fifa ethics committee have apparently based their decision upon so called 'circumstantial' evidence, which our case has clearly demonstrated was bogus and founded on lies told by a senior Fifa official," said the US lawyer Eugene Gulland. "Fifa, either directly or through third parties, with selective and continual leaking of documentation that have been part of these proceedings to the media [has sought] to influence public opinion and create bias." When the Observer asked Damaseb if his was a kangaroo court, as had previously been insinuated by Bin Hammam when he claimed the proceedings had been "politically motivated", the Namibian judge said: "We took the exercise very seriously and listened to all the evidence put to us. The ethics committee took note of the concerns raised by the counsel for Mr Bin Hammam but the possibility for leaks was so vast because the information was disseminated to so many people." Damaseb did not explain how many individuals had had sight of the evidence prior to the hearing. Sepp Blatter was not in Zurich, having headed to Argentina to attend the final of the Copa América. But in his absence, as the sense grows of civil war within Fifa, world football's governing body risk heading for the crisis he has so hotly denied.