KAUNAS: Julius Kvedaras, president of the Lithuania football federation, faces disciplinary inquiries and action by the world and European federatons after being suspended from his duties by a court writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
A spokesman for the court in Kaunas said: “He has been barred from exercising his functions for six months to allow time to undertake a speedy and impartial inquiry and to obviate any interference with preliminary investigations.”
Kvedaras, 62, is accused of illegal use of federation funds under legislation which can carry a maximum sentence of four years in prison. The inquiry began in October last year but charges were not formulated until early last month.
More specifically, Kvedaras is accused of having siphoned off monies given by European federation UEFA for stadia redevelopment.
Agency reports stated that state tax investigators were alerted by evidence that Kvedaras was spending around €145,000-a-year without being able to account for the funds at his disposal.
Kvedaras, who was elected to the presidency of the LFF in March, has denied any wrongdoing and said he will appeal against the suspension.
Born in Kaunas in 1949, he played for seven local clubs – including Zalgiris in the old Soviet Union league – before retiring in the early 1980s to take up coaching. Later he had two brief stints as assistant manager to the national team.
Currently Kvedaras is a member of FIFA’s development committee which allocates millions of dollars each year in develoment funds. He is also a member of UEFA’s Football Committee. Both committees meet, independently, later this month.
A FIFA statement said: “FIFA and UEFA are closely following the situation and are in contact withthe member association in Lithuania, and the relevant authorities. FIFA and UEFA will formalize their position after fully analyzing facts.”