FIFA presidential candidate Chung Mong-joon has hit out at the organisation’s ethics committee – branding it Sepp Blatter’s “hitman” after the South Korean was given a six-year ban.
The former FIFA vice-president was banned from all football activity for six years and fined 100,000 Swiss francs after being found guilty of infringements during the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
FIFA president Blatter, UEFA president Michel Platini and former FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke were also handed initial 90-day bans for various alleged misdemeanours.
All three deny wrongdoing, with Chung releasing a strong statement criticising the Ethics Committee, likening FIFA to the “sinking Titanic”.
“As expected, FIFA’s Ethics Committee has announced its sanctions against me. While this decision does not come as a surprise, I am profoundly disappointed at an act that, once again, demonstrates the profoundly irresponsible and unethical nature of FIFA,” read his statement.
“That the Ethics Committee continues to serve as Blatter’s “hitman” even when FIFA is in a total meltdown ought to be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
“Sepp Blatter FIFA President, Michel Platini UEFA President, and Jerome Valcke FIFA Secretary General who are being investigated on the suspicion of bribery, malfeasance and embezzlement have all received 90 day suspensions.
“On the other hand, I have received a ban of six years for violating such vague articles of FIFA Code of Ethics as “General obligation to collaborate,” “duty of disclosure,” and “confidentiality”. This is a most blatant miscarriage of justice.
“The Ethics Committee investigation against me was initiated when it was alleged that the letters that I had sent to fellow FIFA Executive Members explaining Korea World Cup 2022 bid committee’s “Global Football Fund” had an “appearance of offering a benefit”.
“However, it turns out that this allegation, too, has now been dropped. This means that the Ethics Committee is sanctioning me for six years only for my “ethical attitude”. There is no clearer proof than this that the whole investigation has been politically motivated from the beginning.
“This decision by the Ethics Committee has completely undermined the legitimacy and fairness of the next FIFA presidential election.
“FIFA is like the sinking Titanic. If there are those within FIFA who continue to only look out for their own selfish interests while hastening FIFA’s downfall, history will judge them harshly, along with President Blatter who has morally bankrupted FIFA.
“I will mobilise all legal means available to expose the injustice of this decision by the Ethics Committee while continuing to do my utmost to reform FIFA.
“I call on all the fair-minded colleagues at FIFA and football fans around the world, as well as the court of world public opinion, to join me in my endeavour to bring about a true re-birth of FIFA.”