Soccer: Temarii will fight on to restore reputation

Disgraced Oceania soccer chief Reynald Temarii says he will fight to restore his damaged integrity.

Temarii, a vice-president of Fifa's executive committee and president of the Oceania Football Confederation, was banned for a year and fined $6457 for breaching articles on general conduct and loyalty.

Fifa's Ethics Committee banned him after viewing footage of a World Cup bribery scandal shot by an undercover journalist from Britain's Sunday Times.

Temarii is suing the Sunday Times over the sting and during a media conference Auckland today said had Fifa looked at all the 90 minutes of footage instead of the 4min produced by the newspaper, it would have cleared his name.

"They only make the suspension based on the 4min."

He said the rest of the video was available to the committee in October but they did not want to look at it.

Temarii was filmed appearing to ask for $3 million to fund a soccer academy in Auckland.

In Auckland today he played about 20 video clips, including some in which he said it was not about the money during discussions when he was asked if more money was needed for him to vote for Australia as cup hosts for 2018 and 2022.

He said today he had been cleared of bribery, corruption and the other charges and "the fact that I never accept any gift".

"Now they have new charges, not about corruption."

He said the charges were laid because he talked to the reporter.

"Now I would like to know what are the new charges."

He said he had nothing to be ashamed of.

"I want to clear my name of the charges but also because I wish to protect the Oceania football family.

"I fight for the last seven years to make sure football will become a tool of education, citizenship and so on and so on.

"I feel like a victim. I need to understand. The Ethics Committee has to use a proper way to hear people."

Five other officials were also banned and fined in an unprecedented move by soccer's world governing body, which has been shaken by the case and is under huge pressure to show that the contest will be clean and transparent.

Nigerian Amos Adamu was banned from all-soccer related activities for three years and fined 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,130) for breaches of five articles of FIFA's ethics code including one on bribery.

The other officials included Slim Aloulou, chairman of the committee that settles disputes between clubs, players and coaches, and the previously disgraced Ismael Bhamjee.

In 2006, Botswana's Bhamjee was sent home from the World Cup in Germany and subsequently quit the executive committee for selling match tickets at three times their face value.

Tunisia's Aloulou - chairman of FIFA's dispute resolution chamber and a member of the players' status committee - was banned for two years and fined 10,000 Swiss francs.

He was found to have broken rules on general conduct and loyalty and of failing to report evidence of misconduct.

The other FIFA officials - Ahongalu Fusimalohi, Amadou Diakite and Bhamjee - were all found guilty of the same offences, plus bribery.

Fusimalohi, general secretary of the Tonga FA, and Diakite from Mali, a member of the FIFA referees' committee, were banned for three years and fined 10,000 Swiss francs each.

Bhamjee, an honorary member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), was banned for four years and fined 10,000 Swiss francs.

- NZPA

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