Webb could face lifelong ban as FIFA opens proceedings


FIFA has opened adjudicatory proceedings against disgraced former official Jeffrey Webb, who could now face a lifelong ban from football.

The former CONCACAF chief and vice-president of FIFA pleaded guilty in the United States in November to one count of racketeering conspiracy, three counts of wire fraud conspiracy and three counts of money laundering conspiracy.

Webb was one of a number of officials arrested in a police operation last May as part of an FBI-led investigation into widespread corruption in world football's governing body.

FIFA's Ethics Committee launched its own investigation into Webb's conduct and submitted a final report on April 26. A lifelong ban from all football-related activities has been recommended.

"The adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, chaired by Mr Hans-Joachim Eckert, has opened formal adjudicatory proceedings against Mr Jeffrey Webb based on the final report submitted by the investigatory chamber," a FIFA statement released on Wednesday read.

"The adjudicatory chamber has carefully studied the report of the investigatory chamber, under the chairmanship of Dr Cornel Borbely, and decided to institute formal adjudicatory proceedings against Mr Webb, formerly the president of CONCACAF, a vice-president of FIFA, a member of the Executive Committee of the Caribbean Football Union and the president of the Cayman Islands Football Association.

"The final report was transmitted to the adjudicatory chamber on 26 April 2016, with a recommended sanction of a lifelong ban from all football-related activities for violations of articles 13, 15, 18, 19 and 21 of the FIFA Code of Ethics.

"During the course of these adjudicatory proceedings, Mr Webb will be invited to submit his position with regard to the final report of the investigatory chamber, including any evidence (art. 70 par. 2 of the FIFA Code of Ethics), and may request a hearing (art. 74 par. 2 of the FIFA Code of Ethics)."

In his guilty plea to US judges late last year, Webb admitted he had "abused" the position of responsibility he held at the top of the game.

"I abused my position to obtain bribes and kickbacks for my personal benefit," he said.

"I believed that such offers were common in this business. I deeply regret my participation in this illegal conduct."