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FIFA bans Brazilian federation chief over corruption


Paris (AFP) – Football’s world governing body FIFA said Friday it had banned the head of the Brazilian football federation, Marco Polo Del Nero, for life following a graft probe.

FIFA said in a statement that the probe revealed that Del Nero had violated multiple articles of the body’s ethics code including those relating to bribery and corruption.

“As a consequence, Mr Del Nero is banned for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level,” the statement said.

“Additionally, a fine in the amount of CHF (Swiss francs) 1 million (835,880 euros) has been imposed on Mr Del Nero.”

The sanction, handed down by the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s ethics watchdog, comes as the latest twist in FIFA’s years-long probe into graft following revelations of widespread corruption revealed in 2015.

The FIFA statement said the investigation into Del Nero, which was opened in November 2015, referred to “schemes in which he received bribes in exchange for his role in awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to various football tournaments, including the CONMEBOL (South America’s footballgoverning body) Copa America, the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores and the CBF Copa do Brasil”.

The investigation found that Del Nero also violated rules governing conflicts of interest, loyalty, and general conduct, FIFA said without elaborating. 

FIFA added that the ban took effect immediately and that Del Nero had been informed of the sanction.

In November, FIFA’s ethics committee slapped similar lifetime bans on several other football executives who were named in a sprawling US Justice Department probe into football corruption. 

Their names were among the 42 officials and marketing executives who have been indicted by the justice department in relation to the US investigation, which came to light in May 2015, unveiling the largest scandal in the history of world football.

Later that year former FIFA boss Sepp Blatter was ousted and banned from the sport over corruptuon charges.

Blatter was president of FIFA from 1998 until June 2015 when he quit days after winning re-election for a fifth term as the magnitude of the FIFA graft scandal emerged.

He was later banned from football by FIFA for eight years over a payment to Michel Platini, his former friend and ally. The sentence was later reduced to six years.

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