19 Nov 2010

FIFA ethics committee bans Oceania Football President for one year

11:44 am on 19 November 2010

Oceania's representative on football's governing body, FIFA, has been suspended from all soccer activities for a year over allegations he offered to sell his votes on hosting rights for the World Cup.

FIFA has investigated claims that Reynald Temarii of Tahiti, and another executive committee member, Amos Adamu of Nigeria, offered to sell their votes for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments to reporters posing as lobbyists for an American consortium.

Adamu was banned for for three years while four other FIFA officials were banned and fined for violating ethics codes, including the general secretary of Tonga's Football Association, Ahongalu Fusimalohi.

Mr Fusimalohi say he doesn't understand why FIFA has been so harsh.

He says the recording of an interview with undercover British journalists, contradicts newspaper reports of corruption and explicitly states he had no intention to seek or accept bribes.

"The recordings in that interview, which is my submissions, proves that the allegations were false. It points out clearly - the interview - because a lot of it was taken out of context so I don't understand how the decision became that serious and harsh."

Ahongalu Fusimalohi says he wants to clarify FIFA's position and then appeal its decision.

Reynald Temarii says he too plans to appeal against the decision.

Meanwhile, The Tahitian Football Federation has come out in support of Temarii.