GENEVA — FIFA banned its former finance director Markus Kattner for 10 years on Tuesday for helping former president Sepp Blatter and other top managers award themselves salary raises and bonuses totaling tens of millions of dollars.
FIFA said its ethics committee judges found Kattner guilty of conflicts of interest and abuse of position, including obtaining a recording of a FIFA Council meeting from which he had been excluded.
Kattner was also fined $1.05 million and ordered to pay within 30 days.
“By his conduct, the integrity and objectivity of FIFA have therefore been exceedingly violated,” FIFA’s ethics judges said in their ruling.
Kattner spent 13 years overseeing the world soccer body’s finances during Blatter’s presidency. When he was fired by FIFA’s new management in 2016, it was revealed that Blatter, former secretary general Jerome Valcke and Kattner himself were contracted to get World Cup bonuses, loyalty bonuses and future golden handshakes totaling tens of millions of dollars.
Lawyers for FIFA four years ago described “a coordinated effort by three former top officials of FIFA to enrich themselves.”
At the time, a spokesperson for Kattner said the contracts were approved by FIFA’s compensation panel and known to its then-auditors.
When Blatter and Valcke were suspended from duty in 2015, Kattner was promoted to be FIFA’s interim secretary general — a role he continued to hold for three more months after the election of current president Gianni Infantino.
FIFA ethics investigators formally opened an investigation of the three men in September 2016.
NBA: Pelicans General Manager David Griffin says three New Orleans players have tested positive for COVID-19 and will be in self-isolation until testing shows they can return to team activities without infecting others.
Griffin declined to identify the players, citing medical privacy laws. The positive tests occurred on June 23, the first day all members of the team were tested as part of the NBA’s plan to restart the season, which was suspended in mid-March because of the pandemic. Griffin says the Pelicans have had no players test positive since.
When the Pelicans return to action on July 30 against Utah at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex outside of Orlando, Florida, they will be 3½ games out of the Western Conference’s final playoff spot with eight games left.
LPGA: The LPGA Tour lost another tournament when the Canadian Women’s Open was canceled because of travel restrictions and quarantine requirements from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CP Women’s Open was scheduled for Sept. 3-6 at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in Vancouver. The LPGA Tour and Golf Canada say it will return to Shaughnessy the last week in August next year.
“I understand this was a tough decision for everyone involved, but given the restrictions faced, there was simply nothing else that could be done that would have enabled us to run the event in 2020,” LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan says.
GRINNELL CANCELS FALL SPORTS: Grinnell College in Iowa says it will cancel football and other fall sports because of concerns about the coronavirus.
The Division III school announced it would cancel sports including football, soccer, golf, cross-country and volleyball. The college, located in the small city of Grinnell about 45 miles east of Des Moines, competes in the Midwest Conference.
The decision comes less than a year after the college canceled much of its football season because its roster had dwindled to 28 players due to injuries. Grinnell had planned to resume football this year.
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