News 1st April 2015

CAS confirms life ban on former FIFA Executive Committee member

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed Vernon Manilal Fernando’s appeal against a life ban imposed by FIFA in 2013, for various charges involving bribery and corruption. ‘In September 2012, during an inquiry conducted by the Investigatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee concerning allegations of corruption against Mohamed Bin Hammam, not related to the 2009 AFC election, Mr Manilal Fernando was suspected of having violated the FIFA Code of Ethics (FCE)’, explained a CAS statement. ‘Subsequently, disciplinary proceedings were opened against him. On 30 April 2013, the Adjudicatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee found Mr Manilal Fernando guilty of having infringed Art. 13 (General rules of conduct), Art. 19 (Conflict of interests), Art. 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits), and Art. 21 (Bribery and corruption) of the FCE.’

Fernando was initially banned for eight years from 11 March 2013. However on 11 March 2014, the FIFA Appeals Committee imposed a life ban after considering Fernando’s appeal against his ban, and an appeal from Michael Garcia, Chairman of the Investigatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee for a longer ban.

‘In his appeal at the CAS, Vernon Manilal Fernando did not object to the bribery charges, but considered that the FCE should only apply to bribes to third parties and not to other FIFA officials which cannot be accepted’, read the CAS statement. ‘The CAS Panel has determined that Mr Manilal Fernando has failed to discharge the evidential burden which lies upon him to undermine the violations of the FCE and accordingly has found him guilty of such violations. The CAS Panel expressed a strong message intended to all members of the sporting community, acting in whatever capacity: if one is involved in bribery then one may expect to exile from the sport.’

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