FIFA executive vows to clear name

Published Nov. 20, 2010 6:21 a.m. ET

Oceania Football Confederation president Reynald Temarii said Saturday he will fight to clear his name after his suspension from FIFA's executive committee for ethics violations.

He was stood down from FIFA executive committee for one year and also fined for breaching FIFA's loyalty and confidentiality rules after being secretly filmed in a newspaper sting.

Temarii was videotaped by Britain's Sunday Times newspaper appearing to solicit financial contributions to the Oceania Federation in return for his vote on the locations of the 2018 or 2022 World Cups.

''I want to clear my name of the charges but also because I wish to protect the Oceania football family,'' Temarii said at a news conference in Auckland on Saturday.

''I fight for the last seven years to make sure football will become a tool of education, citizenship and so on and so on.

''I feel like a victim. I need to understand. The Ethics Committee has to use a proper way to hear people.''

The Tahitian, who is suing the Sunday Times, said ethics committee viewed only a small part of the 90 minutes of footage taken by the newspaper. Consideration of the full video, which was available to the committee, might have led members to a different conclusion, he said.


''They only make the suspension based on the 4 minutes,'' said Temarii who played some 20 video clips to reporters at Saturday's news conference. The Sunday Times said Temarii had sought $3 million toward a football academy in Auckland but he highlighted sections of the videotape in which he said he was not seeking gifts.

Temarii said he had been cleared of bribery and corruption and the videotapes showed ''the fact that I never accept any gift.''.

''Now they have new charges, not about corruption,'' he said. ''Now I would like to know what are the new charges.''

Another FIFA executive committee member, Nigeria's Amos Adama, was banned from all football-related activities and fined 10,000 Swiss francs for breaches of five articles of FIFA's ethics code including one on bribery. Other officials, including Tonga's Ahongalu Fusimalohi, were also sanctioned for ethics violations.