BC-SOC--FIFA-Chung Banned,1st Ld-Writethru
ZURICH (AP) — Former FIFA senior vice president David Chung was banned from soccer for 6½ years on Friday for financial wrongdoing linked to a $20 million building project.
Chung was deputy to president Gianni Infantino as the longest-serving of FIFA’s eight vice presidents when he resigned in April during an investigation into construction of new headquarters for the New Zealand-based Oceania Football Confederation.
FIFA said its ethics committee found Chung guilty of “having offered and accepted gifts” and “conflict of interest.”
Chung was fined 100,000 Swiss francs ($100,000), which he must pay before he can return to work in soccer.
The Papua New Guinea official resigned as Oceania president after a FIFA-appointed audit found irregularities linked to awarding of contracts for its headquarters in Auckland.
FIFA, which had given $16.8 million to the OFC in 2017, froze funding to the 11-member regional body.
Chung had been president of Papua New Guinea’s soccer federation since 2004. He rose to lead Oceania after a World Cup bidding scandal implicated his predecessor, Reynald Temarii of Tahiti.
Temarii was filmed talking to undercover reporters from British newspaper The Sunday Times during the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting contests won by Russia and Qatar.
He was banned for one year by FIFA. In 2015, he was banned for eight years because he took money from FIFA powerbroker Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar to pay his legal bills in the original ethics case.
The Oceania soccer body is now led by interim president Lambert Maltock of Vanuatu.
Chung’s exit from FIFA means five of its eight vice presidents in May 2015 — when American and Swiss prosecutors unsealed sweeping corruption investigations — plus then-president Sepp Blatter and secretary general Jerome Valcke have since been banned for unethical financial conduct or resigned while under criminal investigation.
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