FIFA suspends 5 Venezuelan leaders for corruption

A FIFA disciplinary judge and a former president of Venezuela’s soccer federation were found guilty Thursday by soccer’s world body of financial corruption.

The federation’s former president, Laureano González, has been suspended for five years for mishandling his money, including a “fictitious billing scheme”, FIFA said in announcing the verdicts of its ethics committee. Gonzalez was ordered to pay a fine of more than $410,000.

Carlos Terán was a member of FIFA’s disciplinary committee when he approved and accepted “improper pecuniary advantages in the form of additional monthly payments,” FIFA said.

Terán was banned from playing football for two years and fined 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,000).

The crimes were linked to the fact that both men were part of an emergency management panel, known by the FIFA term “standardization committee”, which ran the federation.

Three other emergency panel members were found guilty on charges including conflicts of interest and accepting monthly payments and fined $10,000. The one-year FIFA bans for Bernardo Añor Guillamón, Luis Eduardo Fernández and Gilberto Velazco Ramírez were suspended for probation periods of two years each.

Venezuela is the only one of the 10 South American soccer federations whose men’s team has never qualified for a World Cup.

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