FIFA bans Honduran duo Callejas and Hawit

FIFA has handed life bans from football-related activity to two former senior officials, Rafael Callejas and Alfredo Hawit.

Callejas and Hawit were among 16 FIFA officials arrested by US authorities in Zurich in December 2015. The body had investigated them personally afterwards and today came up with its own punishment.

“The investigations against Mr Callejas and Mr Hawit were opened on 4 December 2015 and conducted by Dr Cornel Borbely,” FIFA’s top ethics investigator, a statement announced.

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

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The duo had already pleaded guilty to a number of charges in the US, including racketeering and wire fraud conspiracy. Callejas had been found guilty of accepting bribes worth over 1.4 million euros.

Both men are Honduran nationals, and took bribes for the awarding of commercial rights for World Cup qualifying matches, according to FIFA’s ethics committee.

72-year old Callejas was the President of Honduras between 1990 and 1994. At the time of his arrest, he was a member of FIFA’s marketing and TV committee. Hawit was the interim president of CONCACAF, the football governing body in North and Central Africa.

US attorney general Loretta Lynch said of the incident when the arrests were made: “The betrayal of trust set forth here is outrageous. The scale of corruption alleged herein is unconscionable.”