ZURICH: The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee chaired by Hans‑Joachim Eckert has banned Eduardo Li, the former president of the Costa Rican Football Association (FEDEFUTBOL) and a former member of the CONCACAF executive committee, for life from all football-related activities.
An investigation was opened on May 27, 2015, the day Li was among senior officials detained by the Swiss police on extradition applications from the United States Department of Justice.
He was ultimately brought before a court in New York where he was among 42 individuals and entities charged in the $200m corruption investigation. Li pleaded guilty in a U.S federal court in October to taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes.
In court, Li had said he negotiated a $500,000 bribe, of which $300,000 he actually received, to award a Miami-based unit of Brazil’s Traffic Group media and marketing rights for 2022 World Cup qualifier matches.
Li also said he had agreed to accept a separate $500,000 bribe, $230,000 of which he received, from Panama-based intermediaries in exchange for awarding a U.S. company a contract to be the Costa Rican national team sponsor.
The ethics investigation led by Cornel Borbély acted after a press release from the United States Department of Justice on the same day.
A statement said: “On October 7 2016, Mr Li pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy, one count of wire fraud, and one count of wire fraud conspiracy.
“His guilty plea related, amongst others, to two schemes by means of which he asked for and received bribes from sports marketing companies in relation to the awarding of marketing rights for FIFA World Cup qualifiers in the UNCAF region and for agreeing to the Costa Rican national team taking part in UNCAF region friendlies.
“The adjudicatory chamber found Mr Li guilty of having violated arts 13 (General rules of conduct), 15 (Loyalty), 18 (Duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting), 19 (Conflicts of interest) and 21 (Bribery and corruption) of the FIFA Code of Ethics. As a consequence, the official is banned for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level.”