KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Chung Mong-Joon, Asia’s former FIFA vice-president, has formally filed his appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport against a five-year ban from football.
Chung, one-time head of the South Korean federation and the individual largely responsible for winning cohosting rights to the 2002 World Cup, has said that he intends to submit his grounds for appeal by April 28.
The scion of the one of the most powerful families in the country claims that he was banned “for such matters as writing letters to his fellow executive committee members explaining South Korea’s 2022 World Cup bid in 2010.”
Chung has also complained that the internal culture of the world football federation is still influenced significantly by Sepp Blatter even though the long-serving former president was banned from the game himself by the ethics chamber in December 2015.
In fact Chung had wanted to run for the presidency himself until he was forced to withdraw from the race by his initial six-year ban. In July 2016 this was cut to five years by the FIFA appeal committee but that did not satisfy him.
At the time Chung warned: “My effort to reform FIFA and restore my honour will continue.
“FIFA’s Ethics Committee started an investigation against me for “vote-trading” and “appearance of offering of benefit” during the bid for 2018-2022 World Cup venues. Both allegations were dropped in their final report.
“The reason that I was given a six-year ban regardless, was for ‘failure to cooperate’ with the investigation, ‘breach of confidentiality’ and an ‘unethical attitude.’
“An investigation was started on groundless charges and when I tried to prove my innocence by showing why the accusations were false, I was accused of failing to cooperate and for an unethical attitude.”
Chung said the appeal committee had dropped the breach of confidentiality charge leaving “only two accusations, that I had failed to cooperate with the investigation and that I had an unethical attitude.”
These, said Chung, were “subjective and ambiguous charges.” The action had been “part of an unethical plot on the part of certain elements within FIFA designed to prevent me from further involving myself with FIFA.”
Earlier this month he complained further that “when one looks at the key members of the ethics committee and the appeal committee who were put there by Blatter, I realise that [recent changes] are not the end of FIFA’s reform but only the beginning.
“I really expect that [new president Gianni] Infantino will change lots of things for FIFA but Blatter’s people are still on the Ethics Committee and Appeal Committee. It’s going to take some time, but I will do everything in my power to make FIFA clean.”
Chung also echoed a complaint from Chilean Harold Mayne-Nicholls – over his own ban on a separate issue – that the ethics chamber took far too long to provide the written judgment essential before it was possible to undertake an appeal.
He said: “Because the ethics committee had previously taken six months to send its reasoned decision, I can only now prepare to file an appeal to CAS, some 18 months after the original ban was imposed.
“This is like a court carrying out the execution of the defendant, then sending out the ruling 18 months later.”