FIFA slaps Nepal federation leader with 10-year suspension

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Another high-ranking official has been slapped with a suspension by FIFA in the continuing saga of bribery accusations.

In another case of FIFA election bribery, Ganesh Thapa, one of the most influential figures in Asian football for the past two decades, is facing a 10-year ban from the world governing body’s ethics committee.

The president of the All-Nepal FA and former vice president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Thapa is also facing a probe from Nepalese authorities after being accused of embezzling millions of pound of football development money.

The suspension stemmed from his alleged misconduct related to elections for Asian seats on FIFA’s ruling committee in 2009 and 2011, according to the verdict handed down by the ethics committee Monday.

The ethics committee said Thapa was found guilty of “solicitation and acceptance of cash payments from another football official, for both personal and family gain.”

His suspension comes more than three years after a forensic audit of Asian Football Confederation accounts identified Thapa’s son, Guarav, for receiving $100,000 from Bin Hammam in July-August 2009. Guarav Thapa was then an AFC staff member, as stated on the audit report.

The ruling did not specify which FIFA seats in 2011 were questioned because of election bribery.

Along with the 10-year ban, Thapa is also slapped with a 20,000 Swiss francs fine ($19,000).

Meanwhile, in another bribery-related case, FIFA also suspended a top soccer official from Lao for two years.

Lao Football Federation big boss Viphet Sihachakr was found to have received payment from another official connected to the 2011 elections for a seat on FIFA’s executive committee.

Apart from the suspension, Sihachakr is also made to pay a fine of 40,000 Swiss francs ($39,700).

Sihachakr will also forfeit his place on FIFA’s development committee which doles out millions of dollars to fund projects annually.

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