Fifa has today (Friday) handed a two-year ban to Confederation of African Football (CAF) Executive Committee member Kalusha Bwalya as the fallout from the investigation into disgraced former Asian football chief Mohammed bin Hammam continued.
The ruling from the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee of world football’s governing body came after an investigation against Bwalya, Africa’s player of the year in 1988, was opened in February 2017. The investigation focused principally on benefits that he had received from Bin Hammam.
The adjudicatory chamber found Bwalya guilty of having violated articles of the Fifa Code of Ethics relating to confidentiality and offering and accepting gifts and other benefits. A fine of CHF100,000 (€88,000/$101,000) was also imposed on Bwalya.
The nature of Bwalya’s transgressions was not disclosed by Fifa, but the Associated Press news agency said the investigation found Bin Hammam paid him $50,000 (€43,000) in 2009 and $30,000 in 2011 as the Qatari sought to topple Sepp Blatter as Fifa president. Bin Hammam ultimately withdrew from the 2011 election when vote-buying allegations emerged.
Bin Hammam stepped out of football in December 2012 after receiving a life ban from football’s world governing body. Fifa imposed the life suspension for “conflicts of interest” while Bin Hammam was president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
Bin Hammam was first banned by Fifa in July 2011 after bribery allegations emerged during his bid to challenge Blatter. That suspension was later overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but the second ban was then imposed.