Oceania president heads to Zurich
Oceania soccer's acting president David Chung has flown to Zurich hoping FIFA will allow him to cast his confederation's vote on the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
The Oceania Football Confederation said Monday that FIFA had yet to confirm Chung's eligibility to vote in place of suspended executive committee member Reynald Temarii, and described Chung's trip to Zurich as ''precautionary''.
The Confederation said a report in Britain's Guardian newspaper that FIFA would allow Chung to replace Temarii - who has been banned for one year over ethics violations - was ''speculative''.
If accepted in Temarii's place, Chung, a Papua New Guinean official, would become the 23rd voting member of the FIFA executive that will decide Thursday where the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will be staged.
Oceania said after its executive board met in Auckland on Saturday it believed Chung was eligible to vote as Temarii's replacement, but sought confirmation of that view from FIFA. That confirmation hadn't arrived, but Chung was dispatched in anticipation of the decision.
Temarii was cleared by FIFA's ethics committee of corruption after an undercover sting by Britain's Sunday Times newspaper. Instead, he was banned for 12 months and fined for breaching rules regarding loyalty and confidentiality. Temarii is appealing his suspension, but may have to waive his appeal rights to clear the way for Chung to take his place at the voting table.