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FIFA panel seeks lifetime ban for ex-Costa Rican football president Eduardo Li

FIFA’s ethics watchdog is seeking a lifetime ban against two disgraced Central American former football executives, Guatemala’s Brayan Jiménez and Costa Rican Eduardo Li, over bribery and corruption, according to a statement released Wednesday.

Both men have already pleaded guilty to racketeering in the United States as part of the Justice Department’s massive investigation of fraud across world football.

Li had been the head of the Costa Rican Football Federation from 2007 until his arrest in Zurich in May of 2015 by Swiss police acting on a U.S. warrant.

Jiménez, Guatemala’s former football chief and an ex-FIFA executive, was detained in January 2016 in a suburb of Guatemala City and extradited to the United States in March.

The judicial arm of FIFA’s ethics committee said it had opened cases against the pair after investigators finalized their probe and requested a lifelong ban from football.

Investigators claim to have evidence of conflict of interest, as well as bribery and corruption, against both Li and Jiménez.

At a New York federal court in October, Li admitted to extortion and fraud related to taking more than $500,000 in illicit payments for steering match marketing rights to a private firm.

Jiménez pleaded guilty to negotiating and accepting bribes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for marketing rights for his country’s qualifying matches for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Both Li and Jiménez will be given the right to present their cases in front of the ethics committee after FIFA’s investigation is concluded.

 

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