FIFA bans three dis­graced of­fi­cials for life

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - Sport -

FIFA’S ethics com­mit­tee slapped life­time bans on three for­mer world foot­ball executives who have all pleaded guilty to cor­rup­tion charges in US courts. Rafael Esquivel, a for­mer head of the Venezue­lan Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion, Nicaragua’s Julio Rocha (pic­tured), a for­mer FIFA de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer, and Richard Lai of Guam, who served on FIFA’S au­dit­ing body, have all been barred from any fur­ther in­volve­ment in the sport. “The ad­ju­di­ca­tory cham­ber found Mr Lai, Mr Rocha and Mr Esquivel guilty of hav­ing vi­o­lated ar­ti­cle 21 (bribery and cor­rup­tion) of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” said a state­ment from the ethics watch­dog of world foot­ball’s gov­ern­ing body. “The of­fi­cials are banned for life from all foot­ball­re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties... at na­tional and in­ter­na­tional level,” it added. The three are among the 42 of­fi­cials and marketing executives who have been in­dicted by the United States jus­tice depart­ment as part of its sprawl­ing probe into foot­ball cor­rup­tion. The US in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which came to light in May 2015, un­corked the largest scan­dal in the his­tory of world foot­ball. The first trial in the case be­gan last week in New York, where three South Amer­i­can for­mer of­fi­cials are ac­cused of graft worth mil­lion of dol­lars.

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