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FIFA Bans Constant Omari For One Year

The former Democratic Republic of Congo Football Association president Constant Omari has been banned by FIFA from football activities for one year.

The former FIFA Council member was also fined EUR 66,444 for breaching various codes of ethics, the football’s world governing body said.

FIFA launched investigations in January and the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee has now opted to take action because of Omari’s decision to amend the billion-dollar Lagardere TV contract.

The 63-year-old is accused of receiving certain benefits in order to buy around $20m of debt owed by the French company that had been handling CAF’s marketing and media sales.

“The chairperson of the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has ratified the plea bargain concluded between Constant Omari Selemani, former President of the Congo DR Football Association, former first vice-president of Caf and former Fifa Council member, and the chairperson of the Ethics Committee’s investigatory chamber,” wrote Fifa in a statement.

“A formal investigation against Mr Omari was opened on 7 January 2021.

“[It] concerned certain benefits accepted and received from Lagardere Sports, in relation to the negotiations that he conducted for an agreement between Caf and Lagardere Sports in connection with the commercialisation of certain TV rights licenced to the LC2 company and to the collection of the latter’s outstanding debt.

“The negotiations, which were led by Mr Omari on behalf of Caf, resulted in contractual provisions that were particularly detrimental to Caf, causing significant financial damage to the confederation.”

“In this respect, the receipt of benefits created a conflict of interests that detracted from Mr Omari’s ability to perform his duties to Caf with integrity and in an independent and purposeful manner.”

Omari is currently under investigations by DR Congo’s government in relations to swindling of  more than £700,000 of government money that was meant to pay for matches involving the national team and club sides in continental competition.

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