FIFA fines and bans former Ecuadorean FA head Chiriboga for life

Ecuador's Soccer Federation President Luis Chiriboga (R) speaks with coach Gustavo Quinteros during a training session at Ecuador's national team headquarters in Quito, ahead of their upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match against Uruguay, in this file photo. — Reuters

ZURICH — World soccer body FIFA fined former Ecuadorian Football Association president Luis Chiriboga a million Swiss francs ($1.01 million) and banned him from football for life on Thursday after finding him guilty of taking bribes.

Chiriboga, a former member of the CONMEBOL Executive Committee and a former FIFA standing committee member, was handed a 10-year jail sentence in Ecuador in 2016 for corruption.

The 72-year-old ran his country's soccer federation for 18 years but was put under house arrest in late 2015.

He was one of about 40 soccer bosses, mainly Latin Americans, implicated in US-led investigations that rocked the world soccer body. FIFA has since, under the leadership of president Gianni Infantino, stepped up its effort to root out corruption and unethical conduct.

FIFA said their investigation into Chiriboga related to "schemes in which he received bribes in exchange for his role in awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to various football tournaments."

The tournaments included the Copa America and Copa Libertadores. "The adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Chiriboga had breached art. 27 (bribery) of the 2018 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics and banned him for life from all football-related activities... at both national and international level," added FIFA.

Irish chief quizzed over

personal loan to governing body

The head of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) will face questions from lawmakers over a 100,000 euro ($114,000) loan provided to the governing body, which the prime minister described as "unusual".

John Delaney will appear before a parliamentary committee on April 3 to be quizzed about the personal loan, provided two years ago to help the FAI with what it called a short-term cash flow issue, the FAI said on Thursday.

Delaney said in a statement it was the only time he had given such a loan. The FAI said it had repaid the sum in full two months later. It also said it had written to Ireland's corporate watchdog to explain the payment.

The Sunday Times had reported the loan, saying Delaney had failed in a court application to prevent the disclosure.

"It does seem a bit unusual, a body of that size, given its operations and the funding it receives," Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Wednesday. "I would have thought it would have banking facilities that would have provided for a loan," he told reporters.

Sport Ireland, a state-funded coordination body, said the FAI had not notified it at any stage about a deterioration in its finances, as it would have been obliged to do. Delaney said the loan had been "a matter of timing" and had no impact on the FAI's overall financial position.

The FAI generated a retained surplus of 2.8 million euros on revenues of 49 million in 2017, according to its annual accounts. There was no mention of Delaney's loan in the report.

Delaney has been the FAI's chief executive since 2005 and has sat on the executive committee of European soccer body UEFA for two years. — Reuters