FIFA Hands Life Ban to Former CONCACAF Executive
April 21, 2017
(WFI) FIFA’s ethics committee has handed out a life ban to former Costa Rican football federation president Eduardo Li.
FIFA bans Eduardo Li for life (Getty Images)
Li, who was also on the executive committee of the North and Central America and Caribbean soccer confederation (CONCACAF), was arrested in 2015 as part of an international corruption investigation. He pleaded guilty to racketeering and wire fraud in U.S. federal court in October 2016.
FIFA’s ethics panel, in a statement, said it found Li had violated five articles of the organization’s code of ethics, based on his pleading guilty "to two schemes by means of which he asked for and received bribes from sports marketing companies in relation to the awarding of marketing rights for FIFA World Cup qualifiers in the UNCAF [Central American Football Union] region and for agreeing to the Costa Rican national team taking part in UNCAF region friendlies.”
CONCACAF Sues Two Former Executives
CONCACAF is suing former executives Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer for $20 million.
Chuck Blazer as a member of FIFA's executive committee in 2012 (Getty Images)
The lawsuit, filed in a New York federal court, claims the men used their positions to accept bribes and kickbacks and spent CONCACAF’s funds on themselves.
The lawsuit reads in part “Warner and Blazer also sold CONCACAF’s vote to select the host of the 2010 World Cup in exchange for bribes for their personal enrichment in violation of their fiduciary duties owed to CONCACAF”.
Warner, a former CONCACAF president, is currently fighting extradition to the United States from his native Trinidad and Tobago. He is charged with wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering. Warner has been banned for life by FIFA.
Blazer, the former CONCACAF general secretary and a former FIFA Executive Committee member, turned whistleblower after striking a plea deal in 2013. His information helped the U.S. Department of Justice build a case that led to the arrests of Li, then-CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb and several other FIFA officials in Switzerland in May 2015. He too has been banned for life by FIFA.
Warner and Blazer have also been sued by FIFA. They were among 41 former FIFA officials, other individuals and entities that football's governing body says deeply tarnished the FIFA brand. In the March 2016 filing in a U.S. court, FIFA asked for tens of millions of dollars in damages and compensation.
By INSIDER Gerard Farek
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