Sri Lankan Vernon Fernando loses appeal against life ban

AFP| Last Updated: Mar 30, 2015, 23:35 PM IST
Sri Lankan Vernon Fernando loses appeal against life ban

Former FIFA heavyweight Vernon Manilal Fernando saw his days in the sport ended definitively on Monday as he lost his appeal to The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to have a life ban overturned.

The 65-year-old -- a former member of the elite FIFA Executive Committee -- received the life ban from FIFA in October 2013 after he had appealed to them over an original eight year ban.

On Monday he saw a second appeal end in similar disastrous fashion as CAS rubber-stamped FIFA`s decision.

"The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by Vernon Manilal Fernando from Sri Lanka, former FIFA Executive Committee member," read the CAS judgement.

"As a consequence, the decision rendered on 9 October 2013 by the FIFA Appeals Committee, which bans Manilal Fernando from taking part in any football-related activity for life, from 11 March 2013, is confirmed.

"The dispute is related to the election at the 2009 AFC Congress, for one of the AFC seats on the FIFA Executive Committee.

"In September 2012, during an inquiry conducted by the Investigatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee concerning allegations of corruption against Mohamed Bin Hammam, not related to the 2009 AFC election, Mr Manilal Fernando was suspected of having violated the FIFA Code of Ethics (FCE).

"Subsequently, disciplinary proceedings were opened against him. On 30 April 2013, the Adjudicatory Chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee found Mr Manilal Fernando guilty of having infringed art. 13 (General rules of conduct), art. 19 (Conflict of interests), art. 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits), and art. 21 (Bribery and corruption) of the FCE."

Fernando was an ally of disgraced former Asian boss and FIFA vice-president bin Hammam.

Fernando also had a seat on the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) executive committee.

In March 2013, FIFA said it was initially suspending Fernando in the wake of an investigation opened in October 2012.

It said the action was "in order to prevent interference with the establishment of the truth regarding ethics proceedings".

His suspension was thought to be related to investigations into scandal-hit ex-AFC chief bin Hammam, whom he had backed strongly.