19 Nov 2010

Oceania Football Confederation to meet next week on suspensions

12:06 pm on 19 November 2010

The Oceania Football Confederation will meet in Auckland next week to consider the implications of the suspension of two of its senior members by FIFA, the sport's governing body.

It says it will respect a decision by confederation president Reynald Temarii to appeal against his ban, which was imposed after a World Cup bidding scandal.

Temarii has been banned from all football activities for a year, while another OFC official, Ahongalu Fusimalohi of Tonga has received a three-year ban.

Both have also been fined.

Mr Temarri has already indicated he will appeal, as has Mr Fusimalohi.

The Oceania confederation's acting president and general secretary are on their back to New Zealand from Switzerland, where the decision on the penalties was made.

They are due to arrive in New Zealand on Saturday.

Suspenion details

FIFA has suspended two members of its executive committee following an investigation into corruption.

Oceania Football Confederation president Reynald Temarii and Amos Adamu of Nigeria have also been fined and cannot take part in a vote next month to decide the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The Sunday Times newspaper earlier reported that Temarii wanted $3 million to set up a sports academy in Auckland, in exchange for his vote.

Adamu has been banned from football activity for three years and Temarii for one year over claims they asked for money in exchange for World Cup votes.

The 2018 Spain-Portugal and 2022 Qatar bids were cleared of collusion.

The ballot will proceed on 2 December with 22 voters - instead of 24 - and nine candidates across the two votes.

Following an investigation by FIFA's ethics committee, Adamu - who has pleaded his innocence throughout - was fined 10,000 Swiss francs ($US10,200) and Temarii 5000 francs.

Four other FIFA officials, all former executive committee members, were suspended.

Ismael Bhamjee of Botswana was given a four-year ban, Amadou Diakite of Mali and Ahongalu Fusimalohi of Tonga were banned for three-years and Slim Aloulou of Tunisia for two years.

All four were fined 10,000 Swiss francs.

Newspaper report

The BBC reports the ruling followed a newspaper report that they asked for payments in exchange for votes.

Adamu and Temarii were secretly filmed by reporters from the Sunday Times, who posed as lobbyists for a consortium of American companies that wanted to bring the tournament to the United States.

Adamu allegedly said he wanted $US800,000 to build four artificial football pitches.

Temarii is also alleged to have asked for a payment to finance a sports academy. The BBC reports he has been punished for breaching rules on loyalty and confidentiality.