ZURICH: The long arm of FIFA justice has caught up with yet another former president of CONCACAF, the central and north American confederation writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Alfredo Hawit, Honduras’s former FIFA vice-president and past acting president of the CONCACAF, has been suspended from all football activities for life – just like notorious predecessors Jeffrey Webb and Jack Warner.
Also banned by the ethics committee of the world football federation has been the former Honduras president Rafael Callejas.
Both had been revealed as criminals by the FIFAGate investigation, into a $200m web of corruption, conducted by the United States Department of Justice.
Both men had pleaded guilty to corruption charges in a US court earlier this year – just two among more than 40 individuals and marketing companies whose indictments threw FIFA last year into the greatest scandal in its history.
FIFA’s ethics committee said, in a statement, that the two men had broken the sport’s rules on bribery and corruption, conflicts of interest, loyalty and duty of disclosure.
The statement added: “As a consequence, both officials are banned for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at national and international level.”
Hawit pleaded guilty in a federal court in New York in April to racketeering conspiracy, two counts of wire fraud conspiracy and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
The former executive committee member admitted to having received hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from two sports marketing companies that were seeking media rights for football matches and tournaments.
Hawit, due to be sentenced in March, had been acting head of CONCACAF for six months when he was arrested in a luxury Zurich hotel as he was due to attend a FIFA meeting in December last year.
Webb was among seven men who had been arrested at the same hotel the previous May. He has also pleaded guilty to offences linked to racketeering, fraud and money laundering and is under house arrest aswaiting sentence in May.
Callejas, state president of Honduras from 1990 to 1994, pleaded guilty in March to charges of racketeering and wire fraud conspiracy.
He was the president of the Honduras soccer federation, FENAFUTH, from 2002-15 and was a member of FIFA’s marketing and television committee.
He admitted in court that he sought bribes in connection with awarding media and marketing rights for World Cup qualifying matches. He is due to be sentenced on Jan. 27.
Warner is continuing to contest a US extradition application in Trinidad & Tobago.
A court plea from the US Justice Department to be joined in the ongoing court case, in an attempt to speed thing along, has just been rejected fro the second time in six months after an appeal hearing in Port of Spain.
Warner’s lawyers claim that the country’s extradition treaty with the US contradicts the Extradition (Commonwealth and Foreign Territories) Act.