Wednesday, June 23, 2021

FIFA life ban for ex-Honduran President Callejas


tiamin rice

Former Honduran president Rafael Callejas leaves the Brooklyn federal court in New York, March 28, 2016 after pleading guilty to charges of racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy in connection with the FIFA corruption scandal (AFP Photo/Kena Betancur)

FIFA banned former Honduran President Rafael Callejas from all football-related activity for life on Monday over corruption charges.

FIFA’s Ethics Committee also announced a life ban for Alfredo Hawit, like Callejas a former president of the Honduran Football Association (FENAFUTH).

Callejas is awaiting sentencing in the United States after pleading guilty to racketeering to a New York court in March.

The 72-year-old was charged with taking illegal payments from a sports marketing company for TV broadcasting deals for the 2014, 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The US court found Callejas guilty of taking kickbacks of $1.6 million dollars (1.4 million euros).

A judgement is due in January, but with his plea bargain he may escape a jail sentence.

After leading the Central American republic of Honduras between 1990 and 1994, Callejas took over the running of FENAFUTH in 2002, and also served on FIFA’s marketing and television committee.

Hawit’s ban follows his guilty plea in April to four counts of racketeering, wire fraud conspiracy and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

The charges relate to bribes he received from sports marketing companies for CONCACAF tournaments and World Cup qualifiers.

Hawit was extradited from Switzerland in January 2015 to the United States, a month after his arrest in Zurich on the fringes of a FIFA executive committee meeting.

He is a former president of the North and Central American CONCACAF federation.

The two bans were announced by the Munich-based adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics watchdog chaired by Hans‑Joachim Eckert.

“The investigations against Mr Callejas and Mr Hawit were opened on 4 December 2015 and conducted by Dr Cornel Borbely,” FIFA’s top ethics investigator, a statement announced.

The adjudicatory chamber found Callejas and Hawit guilty of violating several FIFA Code of Ethics articles.

“As a consequence, both officials are banned for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at national and international level,” added the statement.

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