FIFA has banned Confederation of African Football executive committee member and Zambia great Kalusha Bwalya from all football-related activities for two years, world football’s governing body announced on Friday.
A brief statement on FIFA’s website noted that an investigation against Bwalya, which was opened on February 28 2017, had found him guilty of violating articles 16 and 20 of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
Specifically, the investigation had focused principally on benefits received from former president of the Asian Football Confederation Mr. Mohammed bin Hammam.
“The adjudicatory chamber found Mr Bwalya guilty of having violated art. 16 (Confidentiality) and art. 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits) of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” read the statement.
“A fine in the amount of CHF 100,000 was also imposed on Mr Bwalya.
“The decision was notified to Mr Bwalya [on Friday], and the ban comes into force immediately.”
In 2012, Bin Hammam was banned for all football-related activity for life – for a second time – due to “conflicts of interest” in his role as AFC chief.
Bwalya, arguably Zambia’s greatest player, was named African Footballer of the Year in 1988 and featured for the likes of PSV Eindhoven, Cercle Brugge and Mexico’s America during his playing career.
As well as accruing 87 Zambian caps, he managed the national side between 2003 and 2006, and was the President of the Zambian Football Association between 2008 and 2016, when he was defeated by incumbent Andrew Kamanga in the FAZ elections.
The 54-year-old was elected onto CAF’s executive committee in 2008.
Bwalya is the latest high-profile African footballing figure whose reputation threatens to be tarnished amidst the ongoing bribery scandal affecting the continent’s sport.
A BBC expose has already resulted in the disintegration of the Ghana Football Association after former president Kwesi Nyanyakyi was allegedly shown accepting a cash gift of $65,000 (£48,000).
Similarly, Kenyan referee Marwa Range had to resign his World Cup post, and was subsequently banned by CAF for all football-related activities, after being allegedly recorded taking bribes.
Range was one of several officials who were handed a range of bans by African football’s governing body, while Nigeria coach Salisu Yusuf has also been implicated.