FIFA presidential candidate Chung Mong Joon said Tuesday he could be given a 19-year ban from football by the world governing body’s ethics committee and ruled out as a potential replacement for current president Joseph Blatter.
Chung said the ethics committee is planning to hit him soon with a 15-year suspension for proposing, in letters to members of FIFA’s executive committee, a $777 million fund to finance football development projects around the world.
“Ultimately, I will prevail and will be vindicated”, said Chung, a scion of the Hyundai industrial conglomerate.
The Swiss Attorney General is investigating allegations of corruption into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russian Federation and Qatar.
He insists “no money or personal favors were exchanged in relation to the GFF”.
Marc Tenbuecken, a spokesman for the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s Ethics Committee declined to comment on whether Chung may or may not be suspended, citing the committee’s confidentiality principles.
Chung, along with Uefa president Michel Platini, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan and Liberian FA president Musa Bility are confirmed candidates for the election that is due to be held on 26 February next year.
“FIFA is much sicker than it looks”, Chung said, urging confederations and national associations to reclaim their independence and change “the passive way of dealing with FIFA before we can bring any meaningful reforms”. Blatter insists he has done “nothing illegal”. The investigation is based on several charges relating to violations of the organization’s code of ethics.
“To attack my credibility, the Ethics Committee relies on the testimonies of two major witnesses, Mr. Blatter and Mr. Valcke”, Chung said.
Blatter’s predecessor, Joao Havelange, resigned as honorary president in 2003 following the publication of an Ethics Committee report confirming his complicity in a $100 million bribery scandal.