Court denies Chung Mong-joon’s request to lift ban: FIFA

October 21, 2015
In this June 3, 2015 file photo Chung Mong-joon arrives to hold a press conference in Seoul, South Korea. On Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015 FIFA banned VP Chung Mong-joon for 6 years. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, file)

In this June 3, 2015 file photo Chung Mong-joon arrives to hold a press conference in Seoul, South Korea. On Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015 FIFA banned VP Chung Mong-joon for 6 years. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, file)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — A Swiss court has rejected a request by South Korean FIFA presidential hopeful Chung Mong-joon to lift a recent ban on him, the world’s football governing body said Tuesday, all but ruling out Chung’s chances of running in next year’s election.

Chung had tried to have his six-year ban lifted temporarily so that he could run in the Feb. 26 election to replace Sepp Blatter as head of the corruption-ridden body. FIFA said the Swiss court found no indication of a defective procedure when FIFA’s Ethics Committee handed down the ban on Oct. 8. Chung can appeal the court decision.

The deadline to register as a candidate, with endorsements from five national federations, is Oct. 26. If the ban isn’t at least temporarily lifted by then, Chung, a FIFA vice president from 1994 to 2011, won’t be able to enter the race.

FIFA’s Ethics Committee earlier banned Chung for six years from all football activities “on a national and international level,” and also fined him 100,000 Swiss francs (US$104,640) for violating FIFA rules during South Korea’s bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Chung had been under scrutiny for writing to FIFA executive members in 2010 about creating the Global Football Fund, valued at $777 million during the bid.

In the aftermath, Chung charged that FIFA was politically driven to mete out punishment against him and that he’d appeal the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

In a statement issued later Wednesday, Chung said FIFA still hasn’t provided him with clear reasons for its ban, and added, “the Swiss court rejected my petition on the grounds that without the reasoned decision, it has no grounds to make a decision.”

“I am in a double bind: I cannot maintain my candidacy because of the unjust sanctions, but I cannot appeal those sanctions or get an injunction from the Swiss court because I do not have the reasoned decision that FIFA’s Ethics Committee has so far refused to send me,” Chung added. “In the meantime, the time for me to register as a candidate is fast running out. FIFA continues to sabotage my candidacy for FIFA president.”

Chung lamented that the integrity of the election has already been “seriously undermined” by interferences from Blatter’s cronies.

“They may ultimately prevent me from standing for FIFA president,” he added. “However, as someone who truly loves football, I will continue to do all that I can to change FIFA.”

Another presidential hopeful, UEFA boss Michel Platini, has been suspended for 90 days.

With two of the big names in the early race banned, FIFA’s Executive Committee confirmed Tuesday that the election will take place as scheduled on Feb. 26.

Domenico Scala, chairman of the FIFA Ad-hoc Electoral Committee, said candidacies for FIFA presidency submitted by those under a ban will not be processed.

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