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FIFA Opens Proceedings Against Costa Rica, Guatemala Association Heads

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The adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent Ethics Committee, under its chairman Hans-Joachim Eckert, has opened formal adjudicatory proceedings against the former president of the Costa Rican Football Association, Eduardo Li, and the former president of the Guatemalan Football Association, Brayan Jiménez, based on the final reports submitted by the investigatory chamber.

The investigations, conducted by Dr. Cornel Borbély, chairman of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee and the chief of investigation, focused on allegedly illegal payments that two officials received from sports marketing companies. In this context, on 29 July 2016, Jiménez entered a guilty plea to one count of racketeering conspiracy and two counts of wire fraud conspiracy at the Brooklyn Federal Court, New York. On 7 October 2016, Li also pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy, one count of wire fraud and one count of wire fraud conspiracy at the same court.

In his two final reports Borbély recommended imposing on both Li and Jiménez a lifelong ban on taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) for the alleged violation of articles 13 (general rules of conduct), 15 (loyalty), 18 (duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting), 19 (conflicts of interest) and 21 (bribery and corruption) of the FIFA Code of Ethics.

For reasons linked to privacy rights and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the adjudicatory chamber will not publish further details at the present time.

This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba. 

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