Tai Nicholas, the former General Secretary of the Oceania Football Confederation, has been banned for eight years by FIFA on corruption-related charges.
In a statement from FIFA, Nicholas, who was part of the inner circle with former OFC President David Chung who is also banned for corruption, has been banned from “all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level for eight years.”
Read the full statement below
The statement said Nicholas was found guilty of having “misappropriated FIFA funds, as well as having offered and accepted gifts or other benefits.”
The investigation had taken a closer look at the period of 2014 to 2017 and concerned the OFC Home of Football, which also was what got to Chung in the end.
Nicholas also accepted and offered “various undue benefits” to several football officials and other individuals, according to the statement.
Nicholas will also have to pay a CHF 50,000 fine.
In a statement of their own, OFC President Lambert Maltock said:
“I was elected to reform OFC and that is what we have done over the last year.
“Franck Castillo was appointed OFC General Secretary and has put a new management structure in place.
“Following a governance reform process the statutes were amended, new internal policies were approved, Grant Thornton were appointed as internal auditor to audit compliance with the policies and a Legal and Compliance Department was established, all in 2018.
OFC is doing all it can to prevent the misuse of funding and has regained the full support of FIFA.”
Adjudicatory chamber of the Independent Ethics Committee sanctions Tai Nicholas
The adjudicatory chamber of the Independent Ethics Committee has found Mr Tai Nicholas, former General Secretary of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and former FIFA standing committee member, guilty of having misappropriated FIFA funds, as well as having offered and accepted gifts or other benefits, in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
The investigation into Mr Nicholas concerned the misappropriation of FIFA funds allocated to the OFC between 2014 and 2017 in relation to the OFC Home of Football, as well as to various undue benefits accepted from or offered to several football officials and other individuals.
In its decision, the adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Nicholas had breached art. 21 par. 2 of the 2012 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics, (Bribery and corruption) and art. 20 of the 2018 edition (Offering and accepting gifts or other benefits), and sanctioned him with a ban from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level for eight years. In addition, a fine of CHF 50,000 has been imposed on Mr Nicholas.
The decision was notified to Mr Nicholas today, the date on which the ban comes into force.