ADVERTISEMENT

FIFA ethics judges ban 2 Honduran officials for life

December 19, 2016 GMT

ZURICH (AP) — The FIFA ethics committee has banned two Honduras officials for life for taking bribes, as they await sentencing in the United States on soccer corruption charges.

Former FIFA vice president Alfredo Hawit and Rafael Callejas, the Honduras state president from 1990-94, previously made guilty pleas to racketeering and wire-fraud conspiracy charges in the U.S. Department of Justice’s sprawling investigation of corruption in international soccer.

Hawit also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Their expulsions from soccer were announced Monday by the FIFA ethics committee which routinely imposes life bans on officials who plead guilty in Brooklyn federal court.

ADVERTISEMENT

The FIFA ethics committee said Monday men took bribes from marketing companies linked to awarding commercial rights to World Cup qualifying matches. Hawit also took bribes from a marketing agency after promising help to steer contracts toward the company.

Hawit was the interim president of North American soccer body CONCACAF when he was arrested in Zurich in December 2015.

He is the third recent CONCACAF president to be expelled by FIFA’s ethics committee since U.S. and Swiss federal cases against FIFA officials were revealed in May 2015.

ADVERTISEMENT

Hawit follows Jack Warner, who is fighting extradition to the U.S. in his native Trinidad and Tobago, and Jeffrey Webb of the Cayman Islands, who awaits sentence at his Atlanta area home after pleading guilty to racketeering charges.

Callejas was a member of FIFA’s Marketing and TV committee when he was indicted by American prosecutors last year.