By G9ija

The adjudicatory chamber of the independent ethics committee of the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) has stamped a life ban on Mr Aaron Davidson, Mr Costas Takkas, and Mr Miguel Trujillo for fraudulent practices.

The trio were banned for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level after they were found guilty racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy.
According to a statement on FIFA.com, investigations on Davidson opened on 28 May 2015, based inter alia on a press release from the United States Department of Justice one day earlier.

The former board chairman of the North American Soccer League (NASL) and former president of Traffic Sports USA, a sports marketing company, on 20 October 2016, pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy and one count of wire fraud.

“His guilty plea related, amongst others, to schemes in which he offered bribes in exchange for securing contracts for the media and marketing rights of football tournaments,” the ethics committee stated.

Investigations against Takkas, a former CONCACAF official and attaché to the former CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, was opened on 27 May 2015, based inter alia on a press release from the United States Department of Justice issued on the same day.

On 24 May 2017, he pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy.

His guilty plea related, amongst others, to schemes in which he received bribe payments on behalf of the former CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb, in exchange for awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights for football tournaments.

“The investigation against Mr Trujillo was opened on 6 April 2016, based inter alia on a press release from the United States Department of Justice issued on 8 March 2016.

“On 8 March 2016, Mr Trujillo pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy and two counts of wire fraud conspiracy in connection with his participation in several schemes to bribe football officials,” the statement read.

Trujillo was a former FIFA match agent and owner of sports consulting companies.

The adjudicatory chamber found Davidson, Takkas and Trujillo guilty of having violated art. 21 (Bribery and corruption) of the FIFA Code of Ethics.

“As a consequence, the officials are banned for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at national and international level.

“Additionally, a fine of CHF 1,000,000 [approximately N376.6 million] has been imposed on each of the three above-mentioned officials,”

“The bans come into force upon notification of the decision the statement read.

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