Soccer: Oceania gives up fight for Cup votes

Reynald Temarii. Photo / Getty Images
Reynald Temarii. Photo / Getty Images

FIFA will choose the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts with just 22 executive committee members after the Oceania Football Confederation accepted the loss of its voting rights today.

Oceania said lawyers for its suspended president Reynald Temarii informed them he wants the right to appeal his one-year ban for breaking FIFA ethics rules.

FIFA had said Temarii could be replaced in Friday's World Cup votes only if he gave up office by renouncing an appeal.

"I decided not to waive this fundamental right to restore my honor, dignity and integrity following the calumnious accusations I suffered," Temarii wrote in a letter released by the OFC.

Temarii was secretly filmed by British undercover reporters from The Sunday Times, which published an edited video of the Tahitian official appearing to offer his World Cup vote in exchange for funding for a football academy in New Zealand.

FIFA's ethics committee cleared Temarii of corruption charges last month, but banned him from football duty for one year for breaches of loyalty and confidentiality.

Temarii, who is suing the newspaper in London, wrote that he still did not accept the nature and grounds of the FIFA charge.

"I am waiting for a reasoned decision (from FIFA) in order to exercise my right to appeal," he said.

Temarii's stand denied Oceania its request for FIFA approval to install its acting president David Chung from Papua New Guinea in the World Cup process.

Chung said he respected Temarii's decision made "under difficult circumstances."

"OFC will not have a voice at the voting table in Zurich on December 2 but fully respects the decision made by Reynald Temarii," Chung said in a statement.

- AP

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