FIFA ethics committee bans executives from Nepal, Laos

Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:01am EST
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ZURICH (Reuters) - World soccer body FIFA announced on Monday it had banned two officials from Nepal and Laos for taking cash during FIFA elections, extending moves to root out corruption that has shaken the international game.

Ganesh Thapa, president of the All-Nepal Football Association (ANFA), was banned for 10 years and fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($19,870), while Viphet Sihachakr, president of the Laotian Football Federation, received a two-year ban and 40,000 franc fine.

FIFA was thrown into turmoil in May by U.S. indictments of 14 football officials, including two FIFA vice-presidents and sports marketing executives, for alleged corruption. President Sepp Blatter has been suspended ahead of February elections for a new leader who will face the task of cleaning up the game.

FIFA's ethics committee said Thapa, during 2009 and 2011 elections for the FIFA Executive Committee at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) congress, "committed various acts of misconduct ...including the solicitation and acceptance of cash payments from another football official, for both personal and family gain".

Sihachakr solicited and accepted a payment from another football official during 2011 elections, it said.

Thapa denied wrongdoing in a statement.

"I am very disappointed and I do not believe that justice has been served. I have fully cooperated with FIFA during their investigations since the last four years," he said, adding he was seeking the reasons for FIFA's step and would file appeals.

COURT BATTLE   Continued...

The FIFA logo is seen in the early morning at their headquarters in Zurich October 8, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann