FIFA bans three disgraced officials for life
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.