ZURICH: World football federation FIFA has suspended a deputy chairman of its own ethics committee after he was arrested in Malaysia on suspicion of corruption writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Sundra Rajoo’s resigned on Wednesday as director of the Asian International Arbitration Centre after being detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on his return from FIFA meetings in Zurich the previous evening.
Rajoo has sought to claim diplomatic immunity, within his own country, to escape further legal action.
A FIFA statement said:
“In light of the investigation launched by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) involving Mr Sundra Rajoo, Director of the Asian International Arbitration Centre in Kuala Lumpur and a deputy chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber, Mr Vassilios Skouris, has decided with immediate effect that Mr Rajoo will not be involved in any further activities of the adjudicatory chamber. This decision shall apply while the aforementioned investigation is pending.”
Rajoo was appointed last year as one of two deputy chairmen of the FIFA ethics committee’s adjudicatory chamber.
Since Rajoo joined FIFA, ethics judges have passed several life bans on officials implicated in the FIFAGate corruption investgation in the United States.
He had been proposed for the post by the Asian Football Confederation.
Rajoo’s lawyer, Cheow Wee, told local media that a court refused a request for a seven-day detention and that Rajoo had been released unconditionally.
Cheow said: “The judge agreed with our position that he (Rajoo) has diplomatic immunity and privileges. He cannot be arrested nor detained, and isn’t subjected to our criminal jurisdiction.”
The MACC believes Rajoo used his office for financial favors.