(WFI) Welcome back, Mong Joon Chung.
The Former FIFA vice president is now free to rejoin the football family after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) essentially erased his initial ban from the game over ethics violations.
On Feb. 10, CAS cut Chung’s football ban from five years to 15 months after it had found “mitigating factors” to reduce the ban in connection with the executive’s “improper lobbying” during South Korea’s unsuccessful bid to host the 2022 World Cup.
Considering that Chung’s initial ban was set in October 2015, the billionaire scion of South Korea’s Hyundai industrial conglomerate is now eligible to return to football immediately.
His original sentence came amid the massive FIFA scandal where dozens of soccer officials were indicted in the United States . Now CAS says that Chung is guilty of ethics violations but to “a far lesser degree than found by the FIFA instances”.
Chung, who served as FIFA vice president from 1994 to 2011, has always denied any wrongdoing.
He was initially banned by FIFA for six years and fined 100,000 Swiss francs. That punishment was reduced later by the body’s Appeals Committee to five years. The committee also cut the fine in half.
In its ruling, CAS mentioned Chung’s “lack of any prior record of unethical behavior, his public stance against corruption within FIFA and the meritorious services he provided to FIFA and football over the years”.
Despite the former South Korean executive’s efforts in 2010 to bring the World Cup back to his country, Russia was awarded the 2018 World Cup while Qatar was given the 2022 tournament in a single, secret vote.
A report by FIFA’s ethics committee last year did not suggest that Russia or Qatar should be stripped of the right to stage their tournaments despite detailing numerous attempts to influence the ballots.
By INSIDER Javier Monne
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