KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS —– More than four years after ‘that’ vote one of FIFA’s former power brokers has been banned from the game for a second time – and this time for a much tougher eight years.
Reynald Temarii was president of the Oceania confederation and a member of the world federation’s executive committee in the run-up to the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.
In fact Temarii, a former French league player, did not cast a vote. He had been suspended two weeks earlier after being caught by a Sunday Times sting. He was subsequently banned from all football for a year and fined 10,000 Swiss francs.
Temarii had been filmed secretly by reporters posing as lobbyists for a consortium of United States hoping to bring the tournament to the US.
He was punished for breaching rules on loyalty and confidentiality by asking for a payment to finance a sports academy.
In the chaos after publication of the allegations Temarii launched legal action seeking to enable him, in vain as it turned out, to take part in the vote.
This was the source of his latest, eight-year suspension, which has ended his comeback in the role of general director of the Tahiti Football Association.
Ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert has decreed, on evidence provided by investigating prosecutor Cornel Borbely, that Temarii had accepted “gifts and other benefits” in the sum of €305,640 from Mohamed bin Hammam, then the president of the Asian confederation and a fellow member of the FIFA exco.
Bin Hammam had offered to cover the legal expenses Temarii would incur in appealing against his initial ban.
Temarii accepted the offer and received the money in January 2011 after a meeting with Bin Hammam in November 2010 in Kuala Lumpur.
A statement from the FIFA ethics committee said that the verdict was handed down after a hearing attended by both Temarii and Borbely who was promoted to the investigatory role after the resignation last autumn of American Michael Garcia,
Temarii can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. This time, of course, he does not have Bin Hammam to meet his legal bills; Bin Hammam is serving a life suspension from football for misuse of AFC funds.
Other members of the exco in 2010 expelled from football or departed of their own volition under a cloud have included Ricardo Teixeira (Brazil), Chuck Blazer (United States), Nicolas Leoz (Paraguay) and Amos Adamu (Nigeria).
FIFA ethics statement:
The adjudicatory chamber of the independent FIFA Ethics Committee, chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert, has decided to ban Reynald Temarii, General Director of the Tahiti Football Association, from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level for a period of eight years.
The decision was taken following a hearing in the presence of the accused and the chairman of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee, Dr Cornel Borbély.
The adjudicatory chamber has determined that Mr Temarii’s conduct violated FIFA Code of Ethics articles 13 (General rules of conduct), 15 (Loyalty), 16 (Confidentiality), 19 (Conflicts of interest) and 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits) by accepting an amount of EUR 305,640 from Mr Mohamed bin Hammam, who was then a member of the FIFA Executive Committee and the AFC President, to cover the costs of his legal expenses in the context of an appeal against the previous ban imposed by the FIFA Ethics Committee on 17 November 2010.
Mr Temarii received the money in January 2011 following a meeting with Mr Bin Hammam in November 2010 in Kuala Lumpur.
The ban is effective as from 13 May 2015, the date on which the present decision was notified.
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