10th February 2018

The CAS reduces the ban imposed on Chung Mong-Joon

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision in the arbitration procedure between Mong Joon Chung and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). The appeal of Mong Joon Chung has been partially upheld. As a consequence, the decision rendered by the FIFA Appeal Committee (FIFA AC) on 23 June 2016 is overturned and the suspension imposed on Mr Chung is reduced from five years to a period of fifteen months from taking part in any football-related activity (administrative, sport or any other) at national and international level. Furthermore, the fine of CHF 50’000 is annulled.

Mr Chung was initially sanctioned by FIFA due to improper lobbying activities in 2010 in connection with the Korean Football Association (KFA) bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. On 13 April 2017, Mr Chung filed an appeal at the CAS in which he requested that the FIFA AC decision be annulled and that no sanction be imposed on him. The arbitration procedure was conducted by a Panel of CAS arbitrators, composed of Prof. Massimo Coccia, President (Italy), Mr David Rivkin (USA) and the Hon. Michael Beloff QC (United Kingdom). The Panel heard the parties at a hearing which took place at the CAS headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland on 14 November 2017.

The CAS Panel confirmed the violation by Mr Chung of some rules of the FIFA Code of Ethics but to a far lesser degree than found by the FIFA instances. In particular, the CAS arbitrators noted that Mr Chung’s misconduct related to his lobbying activities was not minor considering his high and influential positions at FIFA, the fact that he was a member of both the body selecting the 2022 FIFA World Cup host and the honorary president of an association bidding for that same World Cup and the damage that his misconduct caused to the image of the 2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process and the sport of football in general.

The CAS Panel also found several mitigating factors:

(i) the fact that it was common for FIFA Executive Committee members to promote the bids presented by their national football associations;
(ii) the Appellant’s lack of any prior record of unethical behaviour;
(iii) his public stance against corruption within FIFA, and (iv) the meritorious services he provided to FIFA and football over the years.

In conclusion, the CAS Panel found it appropriate to reduce the sanction originally imposed on Mr Chung for violating the FIFA Code of ethics to fifteen months from any football-related activity.

Since Mr Chung has effectively been suspended without interruption since 7 October 2015, the ban of fifteen months ran until 7 January 2017. Therefore, he has fully served his sanction and is now free to take part in any football-related activity at national and international level. The CAS Panel noted that because of FIFA’s delays in issuing the grounds for its decisions Mr Chung has had to serve a slightly longer suspension than the Panel found to be warranted.

For the same reason, the CAS Panel decided to cancel the pecuniary sanction that FIFA imposed on Mr Chung. The Arbitral Award will be published on the CAS website in due course.

• This media release was published by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on 10 February 2018. Click here for the original.

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