The former FIFA vice-president Reynald Temarii has been banned from football for eight years after he was found guilty of accepting money from Qatari Mohamed bin Hammam to pay legal costs in a corruption case connected to the 2022 World Cup vote.
FIFA said Temarii had breached five sections of the governing body’s ethics code when he accepted €305,640 (£220,632) from Bin Hammam in January 2011.
By agreeing to fund Temarii’s legal fight against FIFA in the weeks before the World Cup vote, Bin Hammam ensured the exclusion from the vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups of the Oceania Football Confederation. The OFC had already voted to support Australia, one of Qatar’s four rivals in the 2022 contest.
Temarii was appealing against a one-year suspension by FIFA which barred him from voting in the 2018 and 2022 contests. Russia and Qatar, respectively, won the votes of FIFA’s executive committee in December 2010.
Had Temarii accepted his one-year ban without appeal, the OFC could have sent his then-deputy, David Chung of Papua New Guinea, to vote for Australia in his place.
FIFA’s ethics committee said Temarii accepted “an amount of 305,640 euros from Mr Mohamed bin Hammam, who was then a member of the FIFA Executive Committee and the AFC President, to cover the costs of his legal expenses in the context of an appeaL.”
“Temarii received the money in January 2011 following a meeting with Mr Bin Hammam in November 2010 in Kuala Lumpur,” added the statement.
Temarii returned to the FIFA when he helped his native Tahiti organise the Beach Soccer World Cup in 2013.