Man arrested over AFC ‘theft’ – lawyer

A man has been arrested over the alleged theft of documents from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, a lawyer told AFP early on Wednesday.

A man has been arrested over the alleged theft of documents from the Asian Football Confederation headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, a lawyer told AFP.

Tony Kang, husband of the body’s former finance director Amelia Gan, surrendered himself to police, the AFC’s legal counsel Mohamad Bustaman Abdullah said. Kang is expected to be charged in court in the Malaysian capital later.

Bustaman did not detail the documents’ contents but he said he believed they were “quite relevant”. He was also not sure what evidence linked Kang to the alleged theft.

The AFC lodged a complaint with police over missing documents which reportedly relate to a large payment made to Mohamed bin Hammam, the AFC’s suspended president who is fighting corruption allegations, in 2008.

Hammam has also complained that documents detailing “personal payments” were stolen from his office, and were included in an internal AFC audit carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The audit tracks the “negotiation and execution of certain contracts and… the financial transactions made in and out of AFC bank accounts and his personal account during the tenure of Mr. Bin Hammam’s presidency”, according to the AFC.

British media said Hammam, who was provisionally suspended from the AFC on the basis of the audit, met AFC-appointed investigators in London this week and offered a detailed explanation of the payments.

The 63-year-old Qatari remains provisionally suspended by both FIFA and the AFC pending investigations into the regional body’s finances.

In July, his lifetime ban from football was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on grounds of insufficient evidence.

Bin Hammam was handed the ban last year after being found guilty by FIFA’s ethics committee of bribery during his campaign to replace Sepp Blatter as the world body’s president. He says the accusations are politically motivated.