KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTING —- Kalusha Bwalya, once one of Africa’s most outstanding players, has been banned for two years from all football by the ethics committee of world federation FIFA over a payment from disgraced Qatari Mohammed bin Hammam.

Bin Hammam was president of the Asian Football Confederation and a member of the governing FIFA executive committee when he the Zambian $50,000 in 2009 and $30,000 in his bid to oust Sepp Blatter at the head of the world game.

Mohamed bin Hammam . . . challenged Blatter

Later Bin Hammam was banned for life for misuse of AFC funds after having previously quit the 2011 presidential race after vote-buying allegations.

Bwalya has been found guilty of breaching ethics regulations concerned the acceptance of gifts and for violating confidentiality rules while he was president of the Zambian federation. The 1988 African footballer of the year has also been fined 100,000 Swiss francs.

Bwalya was re-elected in March 2017 to the Confederation of African Football’s executive committee but pulled out of the vote for a place on the FIFA Council. At the time, Bwalya cited the need to focus on his role in Africa but FIFA had opened an investigation into Bwalya the previous month.

Bwalya, after learning of his punishment, issued a statement denying wrongdoing and expressing an intention to appeal. He said he would “fight tooth and nail” to overturn the verdict.

FIFA statement:

The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has banned Kalusha Bwalya, member of the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), for two years from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level.

The investigation against Mr Bwalya was opened on 28 February 2017, and focused principally on benefits that Mr Bwalya had received from Mr Bin Hammam. The adjudicatory chamber found Mr Bwalya guilty of having violated art. 16 (Confidentiality) and art. 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits) of the FIFA Code of Ethics. A fine in the amount of CHF 100,000 was also imposed on Mr Bwalya.The decision was notified to Mr Bwalya today, and the ban comes into force immediately.#############