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FIFA bans former ExCo member for bribery offences, illegal ticket resale

World football’s governing body FIFA has banned former Executive Committee member Rafael Salguero in the latest case connected to ticketing for the World Cup.

Salguero, former president of the Guatemalan Football Association (FEDEFUT) and a former member of the FIFA and Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Executive Committees, has been found guilty of bribery in violation of the Fifa Code of Ethics by the body’s adjudicatory chamber of its Ethics Committee.

The investigation into Salguero referred to various bribery schemes during the 2006-2014 period related to CONCACAF and FIFA competitions, as well as the illegal reselling of tickets for FIFA’s showpiece national team tournament.

In its ruling, the adjudicatory chamber found that Salguero had breached a Code of Ethics article relating to bribery, while highlighting his cooperation with authorities in the United States and throughout the proceedings before the Ethics Committee.

Salguero has served as a cooperating witness for US authorities since the emergence of the FIFA corruption scandal in May 2015 and the subsequent US and Swiss probes into corruption in the world game. The charges he faced would have usually seen FIFA issue a life ban, but it has instead imposed a seven-year suspension, along with a fine of CHF 100,000 (£75,000/€88,000/$99,580).

Salguero served on the ExCo for eight years until 2015. In December, he was sentenced in Brooklyn federal court to time already served in prison. The unsealing of his December 2015 indictment revealed that he had been under house arrest from 2016 while providing information to federal prosecutors.

The FIFA corruption scandal has had many ties to illicit usage of World Cup tickets. Earlier this month, FIFA suspended Cook Islands Football Association president Lee Harmon for three months for his involvement in the resale of World Cup tickets.

FIFA said it opened an investigation into the issue last July after the 2018 tournament in Russia.