Former FIFA Executive Committee member Luis Bedoya and ex-South American Football Confederation (CONMBEOL) vice-president Sergio Jadue have both been banned for life by the Ethics Committee, it was announced today.
Colombian Bedoya, also a former vice-president of CONMEBOL, and Jadue of Chile both pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy in the United States as part of the ongoing corruption investigation which has tarnished the reputation of world football’s governing body.
The Adjudicatory Chamber of the Ethics Committee, chaired by German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, followed the recommendation of the Investigatory Chamber, led by Cornel Borbély, who had proposed exiling the duo from all footballing activity for life back in February.
Bedoya and Jadue, who was President of the Chilean Football Association from 2011 until resigning his position in 2015 due to his involvement in the corruption case, had entered guilty pleas in the US for asking for and receiving bribes from sports marketing companies in relation to the awarding of marketing rights for some of the continent’s main competitions.
These included the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores tournament, as well as the CONMEBOL/CONCACAF Copa América Centenario and CONMEBOL Copa América tournament.
“The investigations against Mr Jadue and Mr Bedoya were opened on 4 December 2015 and conducted by Dr Cornel Borbély, chairman of the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, based on a press release from the United States Department of Justice on 3 December 2015, according to which both officials waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a two-count information charging them with racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy,” a FIFA statement read.
“The Adjudicatory Chamber found Mr Jadue and Mr Bedoya guilty of violating arts 13 (General rules of conduct), 15 (Loyalty), 18 (Duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting), 19 (Conflicts of interest) and 21 (Bribery and corruption) of the FIFA Code of Ethics.”
CONMEBOL have been at the centre of the scandal surrounding world football’s governing body, with another former vice-president, Rafael Esquivel, recently extradited to the US to face bribery charges.
The former head of the governing body, Juan Angel Napout of Paraguay, was arrested ahead of a FIFA Executive Committee meeting in Zurich in December and has since been extradited.
Other past heads of the organisation, Nicolás Leoz of Paraguay and Uruguayan Eugenio Figueredo, have also been indicted by the United States Department of Justice.
The headquarters of CONMEBOL in Paraguayan capital Asunción were raided by state prosecutors earlier this year, who were looking for “business concessions and broadcasting rights for sporting events".