KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTING —- Eugenio Figueredo has become the second former president of South American confederation CONMEBOL to be banned for life by world federation FIFA.
The 87-year-old one-time FIFA vice-president, Uruguayan sports minister and national FA president was one of the seven senior executives rounded up by Swiss police on the eve of FIFA Congress in Zurich in May 2015.
All seven were held on extradition warrants issued by the United States Department of Justice in connection with the long-running FIFAGate investigation into a $200m corruption scam involving media rights and sponsorship contracts.
Six were duly extradited to the US but Figueredo was sent back his Uruguay where the local justice department had launched a criminal investigation into his activities before the American authorities.
The 87-year-old Uruguayan headed his nation’s football association for nine years from 1997, doubling up as a CONMEBOL vice-president for part of that spell, a post he held for two decades until 2013 when he succeeded Paraguayan Nicolas Leoz.
Figueredo was accused of accepting millions of dollars in bribes relating to media and marketing rights to CONMEBOL competitions. He was released in December 2017 after over two-and-a-half years either in prison or under house arrest.
He was fortunate that Uruguay reached him first. His successor as CONMEBOL president, Juan Angel Napout, is currently serving a nine-year prison sentence in the US on similar charges.
The FIFA ethics committee has been steadily working through catch-up mission to deal with all the 40-plus individuals implicated in FIFAGate. Earlier this week it imposed a life ban on Enrique Sanz, the former general secretary of the central and north America confederation CONCACAF.
The US authorities are still involved in court action in Trinidad & Tobago to try to extradite former CONCACAF president and FIFA vice-president Jack Warner.
The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has found Mr Eugenio Figueredo, a former Vice-President and President of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) and former member of several FIFA committees, guilty of bribery in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
The investigation proceedings against Mr Figueredo referred to a bribery scheme during the period from 2004 to 2015 in relation to his role in awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to CONMEBOL competitions.
In its decision, the adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Figueredo had breached art. 27 (Bribery) of the 2018 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics and, as a result, sanctioned him with a ban for life on taking part in any football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level. In addition, a fine in the amount of CHF 1,000,000 has been imposed on Mr Figueredo.
The decision was notified to Mr Figueredo today, the date on which the ban comes into force.