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    FIFA Audit and Compliance Committee member suspended after admitting to taking bribes

    Richard Lai pleaded guilty

    Baku. 28 April. REPORT.AZ/ A member of the FIFA Audit and Compliance Committee, Richard Lai, was provisionally suspended Friday by the FIFA ethics committee after admitting to taking about $1 million in bribes, including from a "faction" of Asian officials buying influence among voters.

    Report informs, Asian Football Confederation, where he is a long-time executive committee member, also "provisionally suspended Richard Lai from football with immediate effect."

    According to criminal information to which Lai pleaded guilty, he received more than $850,000 in bribes between 2009 and 2014 from a faction of soccer officials in the Asian region in exchange for using his influence as a soccer official. The cash was intended to advance the interests of the faction that bribed him, including by helping officials in that faction identify other officials to offer bribes.

    Lai also received $100,000 in bribes in 2011 from an official of the AFC who was then running for the FIFA presidency, in exchange for Lai's vote and support in the then-upcoming FIFA presidential election.

    Lai also pleaded guilty to failing to disclose foreign bank accounts and agreed to pay more than $1.1 million in forfeiture and penalties. The plea was entered before U.S. District Judge Pamela K. Chen.

    Temporary exclusion may be extended for 45 days after next decision.

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