KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Najeeb Chirakal, a long-time aide to banned Asian football supremo Mohamed bin Hammam, has been banned from football for life after a FIFA ethics investigation.

The recommendation delivered by investigator Vanessa Allard was endorsed by the world federation’s ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, considering Chirakal guilty for a range of ethics code violations included bribery and corruption.’

Chirakal was widely considered within the game to be the “gatekeeper” to Bin Hammam, the Qatari who had tried to challenge Sepp Blatter in the 2011 FIFA presidential election before being suspended in a cash-for votes scandal.

Bin Hammam was later banned for life, appealed successfully to the Court of Arbitration for Sport but was then banned again for misuse of Asian Football Confederation funds.

As for Chirakal, he was orginally banned for two months in October 2012 for failing to assist the investigations into Bin Hammam’s activities.

However a year later Chirakal was back in business and describing himself as an “international affairs executive” on behalf of the Qatar Football Assoication. Later he was reportedly working on behalf of the Qatari national Olympic committee.

Notably, an ethics committee statement said that Chirakal “had been involved in several unethical payments made on behalf of a third party to various football football officials between 2009 and 2011 and had failed to collaborate in various ethics proceedings.”

Allard, from Trinidad & Tobago, has been a member of the FIFA ethics committee since 2013. Her previous investigations included the one which led to the banning from football of the then UEFA president Michel Platini.

Ethics committee statement:

The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee, chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert, has decided to ban the football official Najeeb Chirakal for life from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level.

The investigation into Mr Chirakal was conducted by Vanessa Allard, member of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, which resulted in a final report being submitted to the adjudicatory chamber on 2 November 2016. Adjudicatory proceedings were formally opened on 14 November 2016.

The adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Chirakal had been involved in several unethical payments made on behalf of a third party to various football officials between 2009 and 2011, and had failed to collaborate in various ethics proceedings.

It determined that Mr Chirakal’s conduct violated articles 13 (General rules of conduct), 15 (Loyalty), 18 (Duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting), 19 (Conflicts of interest), 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits), 21 (Bribery and corruption), 41 (Obligation of the parties to collaborate) and 42 (General obligation to collaborate) of the FIFA Code of Ethics.

The sanction is effective from 20 January 2016, the date on which this decision was notified.