ZURICH (Reuters) – FIFA presidential candidate and former vice-president Chung Mong-joon has said he will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after he was banned for six years by the ethics committee of soccer’s world governing body on Thursday.
The South Korean described the ruling in a statement as a “shameful attempt” to punish his open criticism of FIFA, which is mired in the worst corruption scandal in its 111-year history, and was a blatant miscarriage of justice.
The decision will almost certainly end his hopes of running to succeed Sepp Blatter, who has been suspended from the presidency over allegations of improper payments that he denies. UEFA head Michel Platini, who had been the leading candidate, has also been suspended.
The FIFA presidential election will be held on Feb. 26, with nominations to be formally registered four months earlier.
Chung said he had been banned for “vague articles” in the FIFA code of ethics relating to matters such as “duty of disclosure”, and “confidentiality”. However, allegations of vote-trading had been dropped, he said.
Chung was a member of the FIFA executive committee which, in December 2010, voted to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.
He was placed under investigation following a report conducted by Michael Garcia, who was FIFA’s chief ethics investigator at the time, into the bidding process for those tournaments.
(Reporting by Brian Homewood; editing by Ralph Boulton)