Former FIFA Executive Committee member Reynald Temarii has been banned from all football-related activity for eight years for accepting money from ex-Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Mohammed Bin Hammam, the sport’s governing body has announced in a further embarrassment related to the 2022 World Cup bid process.
Temarii, currently general director of the Tahiti Football Association, was handed the lengthy suspension after he was found to have taken a sum of €305,640 (£220,000/$346,000) from the disgraced Qatari, who also used to be a member of the FIFA Executive Committee.
The money was used to help pay Temarii’s legal costs after he allegedly tried to sell his World Cup hosting vote to undercover reporters posing as officials, and by agreeing to accept the money from Bin Hammam, it meant the Oceania Football Confederation could not take part in the bidding race.
He was handed a one-year ban by FIFA in 2010 and attempted to fight the ruling, however his appeal was turned down.
At the time, Temarii was OFC President and if he had accepted the suspension, his organisation would have been able to send David Chung of Papua New Guinea, his deputy at the time, to vote for Australia.
The Tahiti official was subsequently prohibited from voting in the 2018 and 2022 bid races, which were controversially won by Russia and Qatar, but had returned to the sport in 2013, helping the Pacific Island organise the Beach Soccer World Cup,
Nigerian Amos Adamu, a fellow FIFA Executive Committee member, received a three-year ban for his role in a case which enveloped FIFA in the mire once more.
Temarii was found to have been in breach of five of FIFA’s Ethics Codes - general rules of conduct, loyalty, confidentiality, conflicts of interest and offering and accepting gifts and other benefits - and will now not be able to return to football until 2023.
“Mr Temarii received the money in January 2011 following a meeting with Mr Bin Hammam in November 2010 in Kuala Lumpur,” a FIFA statement read.
“The ban is effective as from 13 May 2015, the date on which the present decision was notified.”
Bin Hammam himself was a highly controversial figure in football and he was banned for bribery by FIFA ahead of the Presidential elections four years ago, where he was standing against current chief Sepp Blatter.
Temarii joins a growing list of delegates to be suspended from FIFA, an organisation which is still trying to rebuild its image from the farcical 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding processes.
June 2014: Former Oceania football chief denies he blocked Australia 2022 World Cup bid