Oceania football bans official for corruption


WELLINGTON (Reuters) – The scandal-plagued Oceania Football Confederation on Monday banned a former senior official for six years after convicting him of bribes and corruption.

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) has said Lee Harmon of the Cook Islands – a former member of the influential FIFA Council – will also face heavy fines for his conduct. “The ethics procedure is part of a large investigation,” the confederation said in a statement.

The governing body did not describe the ethics violations, saying only that they took place before 2019 and included conflicts of interest, the giving and receiving of gifts, as well as bribes. wine and corruption.

He said he will be banned for six years and will have to pay US $ 75,000 in fines and US $ 28,000 in costs. Harmon – a former OFC vice-president and FA president of the Cook Islands – had previously been suspended by FIFA for three months for reselling 2018 World Cup tickets in Russia.

The 11-nation OFC is the poorest and weakest of FIFA’s six continental confederations, made up mostly of small island states. Former OFC General Secretary Tai Nicholas was suspended for eight years in 2019 for embezzlement of FIFA funds and corruption.

Two former OFC presidents, David Chung and Reynald Temarii, have also left the game under a cloud after receiving lengthy bans for corruption. FIFA President Gianni Infantino warned during a visit to Auckland in 2018 that the world body saw enough corruption at OFC and that this was a “last chance” to clean up his act.

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