FIFA has banned Mongolian Football Federation president Ganbold Buyannemekh from soccer for five years for taking bribes, soccer’s governing body announced Wednesday.
FIFA said Buyannemekh "solicited and accepted payments" from Mohamed bin Hammam on two occasions. FIFA alleged Buyannemekh accepted payments from bin Hammam prior to FIFA Executive Committee elections in 2009 and the FIFA presidential election in 2011. Bin Hammam was previously president of the Asian Football Confederation.
Bin Hammam challenged FIFA president Sepp Blatter in 2011 but withdrew his name from contention just days before the election. He quit all football-related posts in 2012 and received a lifetime ban from the sport from FIFA.
FIFA found Buyannemekh guilty of six violations of the FIFA Code of Ethics: general rules of conduct; duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting; conflicts of interest; offering and accepting gifts and other benefits; bribery and corruption; and general obligation to collaborate.
Bin Hammam is a central figure in corruption allegations surrounding bidding for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which was awarded to the Qatari's home country. A report in the Sunday Times this summer accused bin Hammam of making $5 million payments to officials in return for their votes. FIFA is currently investigating those claims.
- Scooby Axson