KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Luis Chiriboga, former president of the Ecuador football federation, has become the latest senior executive handed a life ban by the FIFA ethics committee for bribery and corruption.
Chiriboga, once a member of the executive committee of the South American confederation CONMEBOL and a committee member of the world governing body, was also fined CHF 1m ($1.01m).
The 72-year-old ran his country’s football federation for 18 years but was placed under house arrest in late 2015 – one of the 40 Latin America football bosses caught up in the FIFAGate investigation led by the United States Justice Department which uncovered high-level corruption in the international game.
Chiriboga was also convicted in his native Ecuador of money laundering and sentenced to 10 years of house arrest.
A FIFA statement said the investigation into Chiriboga related to “schemes in which he received bribes in exchange for his role in awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to various football tournaments.” These included the Copa America and Copa Libertadores.
In a FIFAGate trial in 2017 Chiriboga was identified as “Toyota” in a ledger of bribes paid to officials and who were given car manufacturer names as code names by the Argentinian marketing agency Full Play.
The trial ended in jail sentences in the US for Jose Marin (ex-Brazil CBF president) and Juan Angel Napout (Paraguayan ex-supremo of CONMEBOL).
Chiriboga’s son, Jose Luis Chiriboga, have evidence after reaching a plea bargain with US agents. He told court he had opened a Chase Bank account to receive payments. One such payment, from Full Play, had been deposited before the FBI and IRS swoop on senior FIFA-linked executives in May 2015.
When the money arrived, Chiriboga would send it on to one of his father’s accounts in Ecuador and, when the bank became suspicious, Full Play invented a fake contract to justify the payments
Chiriboga Jr had also used an account at Biscayne Bank in Florida earlier to receive bribes for his father from 2008 onwards.
— The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has found Mr Luis Chiriboga, former President of the Ecuadorian Football Association, former member of the CONMEBOL Executive Committee and former FIFA standing committee member, guilty of taking bribes in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
The investigation into Mr Chiriboga related to schemes in which he received bribes in exchange for his role in awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to various football tournaments, including the CONMEBOL Copa América and the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores.
In its decision, the adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Chiriboga had breached art. 27 (Bribery) of the 2018 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics and banned him for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level. In addition, a fine in the amount of CHF 1 million has been imposed on Mr Chiriboga.
The decision was notified to Mr Chiriboga today, the date on which the ban comes into force.