Thursday 16 September 2021

FIFA Suspends For Life Costa Rica’s Eduardo Li

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From FIFA president, Joseph Blatter (left) and Eduardo Li, during a press conference of the FIFA Sub-17 Women’s competition. Photo AFP

Eduardo Li, once the darling of Costa Rica soccer, has earned himself a lifetime ban from the FIFA’s ethics committee for taking bribes,

The FIFA decision was announced Friday.

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“As a consequence the official is banned for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level,” a statement announced.

Li pleaded in a Brooklyn Federal Court in October 2016 to one count of racketeering conspiracy, one count of wire fraud and one count of wire fraud conspiracy, relating to bribes received US$500,000 dollars from sports marketing companies, linked commercial rights for World Cup qualifying games.

The Costa Rican was arrested at the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich in an early morning raid in May 2015 by Swiss police acting on a US warrant.

After spending several months in a Switzerland jail, he was extradited to the United States.

More than 40 people and marketing agencies have been indicted or pleaded guilty in the FIFA corruption case, also known as ‘FIFAgate’.

Li was the head of the Costa Rica soccer association, FEDEFUTBOL, from 2007 to his arrest in 2015. In addition, Li served as a member of CONCACAF – the North AMerica, Centra America and Caribbean soccer federation – executive board.

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