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FIFA bans, fines ExCo members accused of potential bribery

Following several months of scandal, FIFA on Thursday came down hard on the two members of the FIFA Executive Committee accused of potential bribery in the World Cup bidding process.

Reynald Temarii and Amos Adamu have been banned and fined by the FIFA Ethics Committee for breaching “various articles of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” according to a press statement released by FIFA.

Temarii, FIFA vice president, received a one-year ban and a fine of 5,000 Swiss francs ($5,056). Adamu, a member of the ExCo, received a three-year ban and a 10,000-franc ($10,111) fine. The suspensions exclude the two members from “taking part in any kind of football-related activity.”

Temarii and Adamu were previously under provisional suspension by the Ethics Committee following the publication of a report in London’s Sunday Times that they offered to sell their votes for the World Cup bid. The paper’s reporters had gone undercover, posing as Americans representing the US bid’s interests.

"We don't want cheaters, we don't want doping, we don't want abuses to be accepted," said Claudio Sulser, chairman of the FIFA Ethics Committee and a former Switzerland international. “The damage caused to FIFA's image is very great. When one talks of FIFA, there is generally a negative attitude out there, talk of corruption."

After the decision came down, FIFA said that the voters would not be replaced, meaning the World Cup decision would now be made by the remaining 22 ExCo members. Furthermore, the governing body rejected the possibility of splitting the vote.

"There will be only 22 members for the 2018 and 2022 votes," general secretary Jérôme Valcke said. "I definitely think, as the FIFA president [Sepp Blatter] said, the game has started and you don't change the rules after the game has started. It's 99 percent certain the executive committee will not split the 2018 and 2022 decisions, as was decided from day one."

The Ethics Committee also handed out bans and fines to four other officials accused of wrongdoing.

Slim Aloulou, chairman of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber and member of the FIFA Players’ Status Committee; Ahongalu Fusimalohi, general secretary of the Tonga FA; Amadou Diakite, a member of the FIFA Referees Committee; and Ismael Bhamjee, CAF honorary member, received bans between two and four years. Each was fined 10,000 Swiss francs.

FIFA had opened proceedings against the two Executive Committee members on Oct. 18 and had requested the Ethics Committee to conduct an independent, in-depth investigation into the matter. On Oct. 20, the Ethics Committee had provisionally suspended the six officials.

Finally, the Ethics Committee examined the information related to alleged agreements between member associations and their Bid Committees in relation to the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process, but did not find enough evidence of a violation of the Bid Registration document and the Code of Ethics.

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