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16th March 2018
FIFA has banned former General Secretary of the All-India Football Federation (AIFF), Alberto Colaco, for three years for accepting an illegal payment. ‘Mr Colaco accepted a payment in the context of the elections for the FIFA Executive Committee at the AFC Congress in May 2009 – won narrowly by Mohamed bin Hammam – while he was serving as the General Secretary and voting delegate of the AIFF’, read a 27 November FIFA media release. ‘He was found guilty of violating art. 13 (General rules of conduct), art. 18 (Duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting), art. 19 (Conflicts of interest), art. 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits) and art. 21 (Bribery and corruption) of the FIFA Code of Ethics’.
FIFA said that the ban would be effective from yesterday. FIFA banned bin Hammam for life for violating its Code of Ethics in December 2012. The ban was in relation to ‘several improper payments to high-ranking CAF football officials during the time before the December 2, 2010, FIFA Executive Committee vote’, FIFA revealed in its 42-page summary of the Investigatory Chamber of the Ethics Committee’s report into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. ‘The evidence before the Investigatory Chamber strongly suggests that Mr. Bin Hammam paid CAF officials to influence their votes in the 2011 election for FIFA President, where he was a candidate’.
When it released the 42-page report, the Adjudicatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee made it clear that it could still open proceedings against individual officials based on the findings of the Investigatory Chamber. The summary stated that the Chamber was prepared to ‘examine specific cases if the Investigatory Chamber opens Ethics proceedings against officials based on information obtained during the FIFA World Cup investigation’. FIFA did not specify whether its acton against Colaco was as a result of the Investigatory Chamber’s report into the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process, or due to an earlier investigation it carried out into illegal payments made by bin Hammam.
The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has ruled that the conduct of Franz...