Fifa bans Kalusha Bwalya over $80k cash ‘gift’

Football’s world governing body, Fifa has slapped a two-year ban on Zambian legend and Caf Executive Committee member Kalusha Bwalya.

The 1988 African Footballer of the Year has been under investigation by the Adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee for over 16 months on the subject of receiving cash “gift” during the campaign for the Fifa election in 2011.

As president of the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) at the time, Bwalya allegedly received cash amounting to $80,000 from disgraced Qatari business mogul Mohammad Bin Hammam, a candidate who was then bidding to unseat Sepp Blatter.

Fifa verdict – August 10, 2018

“The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has banned Kalusha Bwalya, member of the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (Caf), for two years from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level.

“The investigation against Mr Bwalya was opened on 28 February 2017, and focused principally on benefits that Mr Bwalya had received from Mr Bin Hammam.

“The adjudicatory chamber found Mr Bwalya guilty of having violated art. 16 (Confidentiality) and art. 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits) of the Fifa Code of Ethics. A fine in the amount of CHF 100,000 was also imposed on Mr Bwalya.

“The decision was notified to Mr Bwalya today, and the ban comes into force immediately.”

Why we are here?

Last year, it emerged that the US $80, 000 cash “gift” Kalusha Bwalya received from Bin Hammam was an improper payment.

A 403-paged dossier compiled by American lawyer Michael Garcia who headed an Investigatory Chamber to investigate Fifa officials and the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup in Russia and Qatar respectively, said Bwalya’s payment abrogated the Code of Ethics

How it came about?

A controversial payment made to Kalusha and other leaders of football associations in Africa is detailed on page 232 of the report.

It discussed, for example, events Mr. Bin Hammam hosted for African football officials in Kuala Lumpur in June and October 2008 in which attendees “had their travel, hotel, transportation, and meal expenses paid for, and also received cash ‘allowances’ of $3,000 to $5,000 apiece,” as well as a series of payments and other benefits Mr. Bin Hammam conferred to Caf football associations and officials from June 2009 to May 2011.

Rather, the evidence before the Investigatory Chamber strongly suggests that Mr. Bin Hammam paid Caf officials to influence their votes in the June 2011 election for Fifa President. Only Fifa Executive Committee members participated in the December 2, 2010 World Cup vote, leaving the various Caf association officials who received benefits from Mr. Bin Hammam essentially without means to influence the bidding process in Qatar’s favor.

In contrast, every member association had a vote in the presidential election. Mr Bin Hammam was a candidate in that election until late May 2011, when the Fifa Ethics Committee suspended him amid allegations he made cash payments to presidential voting delegates from other associations weeks earlier.

Evidence discussed in the December 2012 Bin Hammam Report demonstrates that Mr. Bin Hammam continued to make improper payments to Caf officials after the December 2, 2010 World Cup vote, through the months leading up to the June 2011 election. For example, the December 2012 Bin Hammam report described Mr. Bin Hammam’s payments to a Gambian football official, Seedy Kinteh, of $10,000 in February 2010, $50,000 in March 2011, and $9,396 in April 2011; his payments to a Zambian football official, Kalusha Bwalya, of $50,000 in December 2009 and $30,000 in April 2011; and his payments to the Niger association or its President, Col. Djibrilla Hima Hamidou, of $50,000 in April 2010 and $10,000 in May 2011.

Interestingly, Kalusha Bwalya’s reaction to the report was that the cash wash a debt he received on behalf of the Football Association of Zambia which he was then leading as President.




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