FIFA bans Zambia’s Kalusha Bwalya over Qatari ‘gift’

Kalusha Bwalya, Zambian football legend, has been banned by FIFA for two years.

Bwalya was banned over a payment he received from former Asian football leader Mohammed bin Hammam.

FIFA found Bwalya guilty of breaching the ethics code by accepting gifts and violating confidentiality rules when he was president of the Zambian Football Federation (ZFF).

The 1988 African player of the year was also fined 100,000 Swiss francs ($100,000).

The Zambian was said to have collected $50,000 from Hamman in 2009 and $30,000 in 2011 as the Qatari sought to challenge Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.

Hammam pulled out of the 2011 contest when he was hit with vote-buying allegations.

“The investigation against Mr Bwalya was opened on 28 February 2017, and focused principally on benefits that Mr Bwalya had received from Mr Bin Hammam,” FIFA said.

“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. A fine in the amount of CHF 100,000 was also imposed on Mr Bwalya.

“The decision was notified to Mr Bwalya today, and the ban comes into force immediately.”

Bwalya was re-elected in March 2017 to the Confederation of African Football’s executive committee but pulled out of the vote for a place on the FIFA Council.