BERNE, (Reuters) – FIFA executive committee member Vernon Manilal Fernando of Sri Lanka has been banned for eight years for unethical behaviour, soccer’s governing body said on Tuesday.
Fernando was suspended following a two-day hearing of the FIFA ethics committee adjudicatory chamber, chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert.
“He was found guilty of several breaches of the FIFA code of ethics,” FIFA said in a statement.
Fernando joined the executive committee in 2011 at the same Congress in which president Sepp Blatter was re-elected for a fourth mandate and pledged to clean up FIFA.
Fernando was provisionally banned in March while Michael Garcia, head of the ethics committee’s investigative chamber, examined an alleged misuse of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) funds, a source close to FIFA said at the time.
Fernando was a close ally of former FIFA executive committee member and AFC president Mohamed Bin Hammam.
Bin Hammam was banned from football for life by FIFA following his involvement in the 2011 bribery scandal when he was standing against Blatter for president.
Bin Hammam pulled out of the election over a cash-for-votes scandal at a meeting in Port of Spain. Fernando accompanied Bin Hammam on his ill-fated trip to Trinidad which precipitated the Qatari’s downfall.