FIFA ban former Conmebol boss Figuredo for life

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October 3 – Uruguayan Eugenio Figueredo, one of the so-called original ‘Zurich Seven’,  is the latest former football official to be banned for life for bribery as FIFA continues to tidy up its paperwork around its corrupt officials indicted in the US Department of Justice investigation.

The former Conmebol and Uruguayan FA boss, now 87, was one of the seven prominent FIFA figures infamously arrested in a dawn raid on the Baur au Lac hotel on the eve of the FIFA Congress in Zurich in May, 2015.

From 1993 until 2013 he was vice president of Conmebol before taking over the presidency for a year in 2013, replacing Nicolas Leoz.

Unlike others cited by the US judiciary for their roles in the $200 million FifaGate scandal, after being detained for seven months by the Swiss authorities Figueredo was extradited to face criminal charges in Uruguay rather than the United States and kept under  house arrest.

He was released in December 2017 and while his life ban means he can no longer be involved in any kind of football administration, that was always unlikely at his age. He can count himself lucky to have escaped a jail term which befell his successor as Conmebol president, Juan Angel Napout, currently serving a nine-year sentence in the US.

Napout was also arrested at the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich but more than six months after Figueredo and was convicted in December 2017 of racketeering conspiracy and other charges. Last month he too was banned for life.

According to The Associated Press, the indictment against Figueredo said he had obtained US citizenship after having “falsely stated that he had severe dementia” to avoid an English language test.

The full FIFA statement is as follows:

The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has found Mr Eugenio Figueredo, a former Vice-President and President of the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) and former member of several FIFA committees, guilty of bribery in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.

The investigation proceedings against Mr Figueredo referred to a bribery scheme during the period from 2004 to 2015 in relation to his role in awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to CONMEBOL competitions.

In its decision, the adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Figueredo had breached art. 27 (Bribery) of the 2018 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics and, as a result, sanctioned him with a ban for life on taking part in any football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level. In addition, a fine in the amount of CHF 1,000,000 has been imposed on Mr Figueredo.

The decision was notified to Mr Figueredo today, the date on which the ban comes into force.

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