Life Bans for Former FIFA Officials

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(WFI) The FIFA ethics committee has banned for life two former top officials over corruption.

Alfredo Hawit, a former FIFA vice president and former acting CONCACAF president, and Rafael Callejas, ex-president of the Honduran FA and once a member of FIFA’s marketing and TV committee, were found to have taken bribes from marketing companies in exchange for awarding TV rights contracts for World Cup qualifiers.

The life bans, effective immediately, were announced by FIFA’s ethics judge Hans Joachim Eckert on Monday. The decision follows a 12-month probe by ethics investigators.

“The adjudicatory chamber found Mr Callejas and Mr Hawit guilty of having violated art. 13 (General rules of conduct), 15 (Loyalty), 18 (Duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting), 19 (Conflicts of interest) and 21 (Bribery and corruption) of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” FIFA said in a statement.

Hawit and Callejas were among 16 football officials arrested by U.S. authorities in Zurich in December 2015.

Callejas, president of Honduras from 1990-94, in March pleaded guilty to two counts of racketeering and wire fraud conspiracy in a U.S. court. Hawit pleaded guilty in April to four counts of racketeering, wire fraud conspiracy and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Callejas will reportedly be sentenced in the U.S. in January, with a court ruling on Hawit expected in March.

Hawit, appointed interim president of CONCACAF in 2011 after disgraced Jack Warner's ignominious exit from FIFA, is the third leader of the governing body for football in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, to be hit with a life ban by FIFA following Warner's dismissal and Jeffrey Webb's expulsion.

They were among seven senior CONCACAF officials arrested in U.S. Department of Justice indictments last year. Separate investigations by the U.S. and Swiss justice authorities into the FIFA corruption scandal are ongoing.

By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson

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