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Banned! FIFA penalises Burrell in bribery plot

Published:Saturday | October 15, 2011 | 12:00 AM
GENEVA (AP):FIFA banned senior Caribbean official Horace Burrell for six months yesterday for the Jamaican's part in a bribery case involving former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam, plunging the region's football authorities deeper into chaos.

Burrell, a long-time ally of former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner and a member of FIFA's disciplinary committee, must now withdraw his candidacy in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) presidential election scheduled for next month.

Since the bribery scandal broke in May, the CONCACAF continental body has seen its top three elected Caribbean officials - Warner, Burrell and Lisle Austin - either resign while under investigation or being banned by FIFA.

FIFA's ethics committee ruled that three months of the Jamaican federation president's ban would be deferred for a probationary period of two years. Calls to Burrell were not immediately answered yesterday.

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Three other Caribbean officials also received bans.

Franka Pickering, president of the British Virgin Islands federation and one of the most senior women in world football, was suspended for 18 months.

FIFA issued 30-day bans to Osiris Guzman, president of the Dominican Republic Football Federation, and St Vincent and the Grenadines general secretary Ian Hypolite. Fifteen days of their sanctions were deferred for six months.

The ethics panel met for three days this week to weigh evidence of CFU members allegedly accepting US$40,000 cash payments from bin Hammam in May.

The Qatari official made a campaign visit to Trinidad, the home island of then-CFU leader Warner, to woo voters during his challenge to FIFA president Sepp Blatter. Bin Hammam was banned for life by FIFA in July.

Yesterday's verdicts extend a trail of damage across Caribbean football, with Burrell having been favoured to win a four-candidate poll in Jamaica on November 20 to succeed Warner as CFU leader. Burrell's bid was ultimately ended by his own voters.