11 May 2016
FIFA life bans for 2 South American officials for bribery
Two leading former South American soccer officials, including one who sat on FIFA’s executive committee, were banned for life on Friday as the fallout continued from the graft scandal that has engulfed the sport. The ethics committee of soccer’s ruling body said in a statement that Chilean FA president Sergio Jadue and former Colombian FA president Luis Bedoya had been found guilty of five offences under the federation’s code of ethics including bribery. Bedoya is also a former member of FIFA’s executive committee and both men are former vice-presidents of the South American governing body CONMEBOL. Bedoya and Jadue have already pleaded guilty in the United States to racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy, according to a Department of Justice statement published in December. They are among more than three dozen officials, nearly all from Latin America, who have been indicted in the U.S. in the graft scandal that plunged FIFA into the worst crisis in its 112-year history. “Their guilty pleas related to two schemes by means of which they asked for and received bribes from sports marketing companies in relation to the awarding of marketing rights (for competitions),” said the ethics committee. It added that the competitions involved included the Libertadores Cup, South America’s equivalent of Europe’s Champions League, and this year’s centenary Copa America that will be held in the U.S. The ethics committee said the two men had breached articles on general conduct, loyalty, duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting, conflicts of interest and bribery and corruption. Bedoya was president of the Colombian federation from 2006-15 and was a member of the FIFA executive committee from 2014 until last year. Jadue was president of the Chilean federation from January 2011 until he resigned in November. The ethics committee has sanctioned more than a dozen officials, including some of the sport’s top administrators, since it was reformed and given more independence in 2012. Life bans have been given to former FIFA executive committee members including Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar, Jack Warner from Trinidad and Tobago and American Chuck Blazer.