COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT ENDS FIFA BAN AGAINST Dr. MONG JOON CHUNG (2018.02.10)

February 10, 2018

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), in a decision issued on 9 February (Swiss time), has ended the ban imposed by FIFA on Dr. Mong Joon Chung and also vacated a CHF 50,000 fine saying that FIFA’s financial penalty was “unconscionable.”  As such, Dr. Chung is “free to take part in any football related activity (administrative, sport or any other) at national and international level.”

CAS reduced the 5 year ban that FIFA had imposed on Dr. Chung to 15 months and also found that the ban had already expired as of January 7, 2017.  CAS made it clear that it was because of FIFA’s “excessive and unjustified delays” that Dr. Chung “had to serve a longer suspension than the Panel finds to be warranted.”

Dr. Chung expressed regret that CAS did not fully nullify FIFA’s sanctions, saying “the past 4 years was a painful period in which my honor was violated.”   Still he vowed, “I will do my part in helping FIFA regain the love and respect of football fans around the world.

Starting in 2014, the FIFA Ethics Committee had opened their investigation alleging that former Vice President Chung had engaged in “vote trading” and that he had given the “appearance of offering benefits.”  However, unable to produce any evidence, the accusations were dropped at the very beginning of the so-called investigation.

But rather than dropping the case altogether, the FIFA Ethics Committee then took issue with former Vice President Chung having sent letters explaining Korea’s Global Football Fund (GFF) to his fellow Executive Committee members during the bid for World Cup 2022.  It charged that Dr. Chung “failed to cooperate” with the investigation and that he sent in his answers late.  For this, they imposed a five-year ban.  During this appeal process, the FIFA continually delayed submitting the documents that Dr. Chung needed to appeal his case to CAS, delaying his appeal by more than a year-and-a-half.

In its decision, CAS said that “the Appellant’s negligible delay in providing the answers… must be juxtaposed with FIFA’s own delay in conducting the proceedings, which far exceeded it and had far greater implications.”  It went on to say “The pot cannot fairly call the kettle black, especially when it itself is blacker.”

CAS also said that FIFA had tried to impose punishments that were “evidently and grossly disproportionate.”

As for FIFA taking issue with Dr. Chung having sent letters to President Blatter during the investigation, CAS said “The panel considers that the Appellant sought only to complain about what he believed in good faith to be an unfair and politically-motivated proceeding.”

In its ruling, CAS took special note of Dr. Chung’s longstanding “public stance against corruption within FIFA” and “the meritorious services he provided to FIFA and football over the years.”  It vacated FIFA’s ruling that Dr. Chung had improperly objected to the investigation of his conduct, and rejected several grounds on which FIFA accused him of failing to cooperate with investigators.

CAS did rule, however, that two sentences in Dr. Chung’s letter to co-members of the FIFA Executive Committee promoting South Korea’s World Cup 2022 bid were inappropriate because they were not included in the public versions.  Nevertheless, CAS specifically found that Dr. Chung “subjectively did not believe that he was engaging in unethical conduct.”

CAS also concluded that Dr. Chung could have cooperated more closely with investigators on occasion, but that none of these instances was a “major infraction.”

Dr. Chung said, “From the start, I had steadfastly maintained that the whole process was a plot of former FIFA President Sepp Blatter, designed to keep me from FIFA.”  He said that it is regrettable that “even while noting my views that FIFA’s investigation was an ‘unfair and politically-motivated’ as well as intentionally delayed proceeding, CAS arbitrators nevertheless did not review the case on that basis.

 

[보도자료] CAS, 정몽준 전 FIFA 부회장 제재 해제(2018.02.10)

Legal actions against Mr. Blatter and the Ethics Committee (2015.10.09)

MJ Chung
FIFA Presidential Candidate

 

The unfairness of the sanctions levelled by the FIFA Ethics Committee against me in contrast to those levelled against FIFA President Sepp Blatter, UEFA President Michel Platini, and FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke is such that one can only conclude that it is a shameful attempt to punish me for my open criticisms of FIFA. This shows that the investigation into my alleged violations has been fundamentally flawed and was merely an attempt to sabotage my candidacy for FIFA President.

President Blatter, President Platini, and Secretary General Valcke who are being investigated on the suspicion of bribery, malfeasance, and embezzlement have all received 90 day suspensions. In contrast, I have received a sanction of 6 years for violating such vague articles of FIFA Code of Ethics as “General obligation to collaborate,” “Duty of disclosure,” and “confidentiality.” This is a most blatant miscarriage of justice.

The Ethics Committee is sanctioning me not for my alleged violations of “vote-trading,” “the appearance of offering a benefit,” and personal donations but for my criticisms of the Ethics Committee and my “attitude” during the investigation. There is no clearer proof than this that the whole investigation has been a political ploy from the beginning.

Through the Garcia Report that was made public in November 2014, FIFA had cleared the Korea World Cup Bid Committee of any wrongdoing, stating that the “potentially problematic facts and circumstances identified by the Report regarding the Korea 2022 bid were, all in all, not suited to compromise the integrity of the FIFA World Cup 2018/2022 bidding process as a whole.”

Despite this, the “vote-trading” allegation was made when the British Parliament started an investigation into England’s failed World Cup bid. The Ethics Committee initially thought that they had a strong case against me. One of the questions it sent me on February 13, 2015 was: “Would it surprise you to learn that the Chairman of England 2018, Mr Geoff Thompson has admitted to agreeing to trade your vote for Korea 2022, in exchange for England’s vote for Korea 2022?”

The vote-trading allegedly took place when we paid a courtesy visit on Prince William at the Prince’s request in his suite at Baur au Lac Hotel in Zurich on December 1, 2010, one day before the vote. When I went to the Prince’s suite, Prime Minister Cameron and Mr. Geoff Thompson were also there. Dr. Lee Hong-Koo, former Prime Minister of Korea and Ambassador to Great Britain, was also present at the gathering. However, in the transcript, Mr. Thomson did not even remember whether Prince William was present. When I responded to the Ethics Committee, saying whether I would have engaged in vote trading in such company, they dropped the charge.

On the second allegation, the Ethics Committee again thought they had a strong case against me when it sent me a transcript of an interview that the former head of the Ethics Committee, Michael Garcia, conducted with Mr. Blatter and Mr. Valcke. According to the transcript, when they were asked about the letters that I had sent to fellow ExCo members, both Mr. Blatter and Mr. Valcke feigned “surprise.”

In response, I sent them copies of two letters that Secretary General Jerome Valcke had sent Dr. Han Sung-joo, the head of the Korea World Cup Bid Committee, and myself in November 2010. In the letter, Secretary General Valcke said, “[b]ased on explanations given by you and Dr. Mo[ng]-Joon Chung, please be informed that we consider the integrity of the Bidding Process not to be affected and consequently deem the matter as closed.”

Now, it turns out that this allegation, too, has been dropped. That is, both allegations for which the investigation against me were initiated, have now been dropped.
In August, media reports of an investigation into my personal donations to Haiti and Pakistan began to surface. However, when I told them that I have been making numerous donations to countries in need of disaster relief, the allegations disappeared.

There is a fundamental procedural flaw in the Ethics Committee’s decision to sanction me. If Mr. Hans-Joachim Eckert, as head of the Chairman of Adjudicatory Chamber, was claiming to be the victim of defamation by me, he should have recused himself from presiding over my case. The fact that he was allowed to render a decision was a clear breach of the legal process.

This decision by the Ethics Committee has completely undermined the legitimacy and fairness of the next FIFA presidential election.

International football community is already taking note of the fact that President Blatter plans to come back to his current position after February 26, 2016, by which time the provisional 90 day sanction would have expired, if the FIFA Congress is unable to elect the next president in case no candidate can win a majority.

FIFA is like the sinking Titanic. If there are those within FIFA who continue to only look out for their own selfish interests while hastening FIFA’s downfall, history will judge them harshly, along with President Blatter who has morally bankrupted FIFA.

I will mobilize all legal means available to expose the injustice of this decision by the Ethics Committee while continuing to do my utmost to reform FIFA. This includes a formal request to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) next week. As I mentioned in London recently, I plan to sue Mr. Blatter for the VISA-MasterCard fraud case and for getting paid by FIFA without the approval of the Executive Committee which amounts to embezzlement. The Ethics Committee will also be the subject of my legal actions for damaging my reputation.

 

[보도자료] 블래터와 FIFA 윤리위에 법적 책임 묻겠다(2015.10.09)

On FIFA Ethics Committee Sanctions (2015.10.08)

October 8, 2015

MJ Chung

As expected, FIFA’s Ethics Committee has announced its sanctions against me. While this decision does not come as a surprise, I am profoundly disappointed at an act that, once again, demonstrates the profoundly irresponsible and unethical nature of FIFA.

That the Ethics Committee continues to serve as Blatter’s “hitman” even when FIFA is in a total meltdown ought to be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

Sepp Blatter FIFA President, Michel Platini UEFA President, and Jerome Valcke FIFA Secretary General who are being investigated on the suspicion of bribery, malfeasance, and embezzlement have all received 90 day suspensions. On the other hand, I have received a ban of 6 years for violating such vague articles of FIFA Code of Ethics as “General obligation to collaborate,” “Duty of disclosure,” and “confidentiality.” This is a most blatant miscarriage of justice.

The Ethics Committee investigation against me was initiated when it was alleged that the letters that I had sent to fellow FIFA Executive Members explaining Korea World Cup 2022 bid committee’s “Global Football Fund” had an “appearance of offering a benefit.” However, it turns out that this allegation, too, has now been dropped. This means that the Ethics Committee is sanctioning me for 6 years only for my “ethical attitude.” There is no clearer proof than this that the whole investigation has been politically motivated from the beginning.

International football community is already taking note of the fact that President Blatter plans to come back to his current position after February 26, 2016, by which time the provisional 90 day ban would have expired, and if the Emergency FIFA Congress is unable to elect the next president.

This decision by the Ethics Committee has completely undermined the legitimacy and fairness of the next FIFA presidential election.

FIFA is like the sinking Titanic. If there are those within FIFA who continue to only look out for their own selfish interests while hastening FIFA’s downfall, history will judge them harshly, along with President Blatter who has morally bankrupted FIFA.

I will mobilize all legal means available to expose the injustice of this decision by the Ethics Committee while continuing to do my utmost to reform FIFA.

I call on all the fair-minded colleagues at FIFA and football fans around the world, as well as the court of world public opinion, to join me in my endeavor to bring about a true re-birth of FIFA.

[보도자료] FIFA 제재에 대한 입장 발표문

Thoughts on Recent Developments at FIFA (2015.09.29)

Press Release

September 29, 2015

September 25 was another sad day for FIFA. On that day, the Swiss Attorney General’s Office announced that FIFA President Sepp Blatter is under criminal investigation and that UEFA President Mr. Michel Platini may be implicated.

During my tenure as a FIFA ExCo member, I worked ceaselessly to confront and to correct what I thought were opaque and illegal ways in which Mr. Blatter and his predecessor, Mr. Havelange, ran FIFA. I am sad to say that, at the time, I did not have the power to stop such corrupt practices that have now come back to haunt and destroy FIFA.

FIFA is currently facing an unprecedented crisis. However, this is also an unprecedented opportunity to reform it. If all those who love football can bring their collective wisdom to bear on reforming FIFA, it will be possible to save and revitalize it.

The most urgent task at hand is to root out corruption from within FIFA. Investigations into illegal activities of the past should be left to the proper legal authorities. Justice must be served. Resuscitating FIFA, however, should be left to those who love football. The future of football should not be left in the hands of outsiders.

Even today, the 2018 World Cup qualifying matches continue to be held. Many football development programs continue to be implemented. However, FIFA that should be overseeing all this is in a total meltdown. General Secretary Valcke is already suspended and it is being reported that President Blatter who is under investigation by federal authorities, as well as FIFA’s internal organs, will soon be suspended also.

Under such circumstances, FIFA and regional Confederations should consider convening extra-ordinary sessions of their respective Executive Committee as well as Congress to set-up an emergency task force that will enable FIFA Secretariat to function without interruption.

FIFA should not be an institution that provides for the opulent life style of a powerful few. Rather, it should be transformed into an organization dedicated to providing footballers and football fans with the experience of joy and hope that only football can provide, all the while instilling the spirit of fair play. For so many young players from many continents, football is the ticket to the outside world. FIFA should be an organization dedicated to making sure that football continues to be a source of inspiration and hope for so many youths.

As a devoted fan of football, I will mobilize all my experience and resources at my disposal to the re-birth, the “renaissance,” of FIFA.

As I had pledged before, if I am elected the next President of FIFA, I will serve a single 4-year term. I will use the first 2 years to undertake a complete structural and operational reform of FIFA. The other 2 years will be devoted to bringing about unity and harmony to the organization. 40 years of culture of corruption can be eradicated in 4 years. There is no reason why it cannot be done. In fact, that is the only way it can be done.

I ask all those who love football to join me in my endeavor to transform FIFA into a symbol of “inspiration and hope,” once again.

 

Thank you very much.

Dr. Chung Mong-Joon
FIFA Presidential Candidate

 

[보도자료] 최근의 FIFA 상황에 대한 입장 자료 (2015.09.29)

Dr. Chung Mong-Joon, Once Again, Urges FIFA to Manage a Fair Election.(2015.09.11)

September 11, 2015

 

Recently, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) sent to almost every AFC member association, form letters to be filled in by the National Football Association in support of the candidacy of Mr. Michel Platini. Furthermore, the Director and staff members of AFC’s Department of Member Associations and Development made private phone calls to individual member associations, checking to see whether they had sent in the completed form letters to FIFA.

On August 31, Dr. Chung Mong-Joon, FIFA Presidential Candidate, sent official letters of complaint to the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee and the Ethics Committee, with a copy of AFC’s form letter, pointing out that such activities clearly violate FIFA Statutes and Electoral Regulations and demanding an investigation and corrective measures. Dr. Chung revealed these facts at a press conference on September 3.

In a letter dated September 3, FIFA’s Ad-hoc Electoral Committee informed Dr. Chung that the committee judged AFC’s activities not to have violated any rules or regulations.

Coincidentally, on the same day, AFC released its own press statement, claiming that its distribution of the form letters did not violate any regulations.

A thorough review of the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee’s letter and AFC’s statement shows that the committee hastily concluded its inquiries into this critical incident in mere three days citing lack of evidence without an in-depth investigation of relevant persons involved. We object to this conclusion in the strongest possible terms.

Even though it has been verified that AFC systematically distributed form letters in support of Mr. Platini, the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee did not even look into the possibility of a coordination between AFC and Mr. Platini, arguing that the committee only has jurisdiction over presidential candidates’ activities and thus could not interfere in AFC’s activities. This is tantamount to voluntarily forfeiting the committee’s duty to ensure the fairness of the election for FIFA President.

For its part, the AFC’s press statement (1) did not even make reference to the form letters, a copy of which we provided, (2) did not deny that AFC sent the form letters and (3) did not deny that AFC as a regional Confederation campaigned for Mr. Platini.
As Dr. Chung already revealed during the September 3 press conference, a vice president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) circulated similar form letters to its member associations, but CAF deemed his behavior highly improper and took measures to rectify the situation.

CAF and AFC’s radically different responses to the same incident clearly show that the two confederations have fundamentally different
understanding of its seriousness. If the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee thinks that the AFC’s activities was not illegal, then CAF’s corrective measures constitute an obstruction of a legitimate campaign activity. In this case, FIFA should take disciplinary actions against CAF. If, however, CAF’s corrective measures are judged to be proper, AFC’s activities should be categorized as an electoral fraud and FIFA should take disciplinary actions against AFC and implement relevant measures to rectify the current situation. Instead, FIFA maintains the contradictory stance that both AFC and CAF’s actions are legitimate.

We believe that AFC sending form letters containing Mr. Platini’s initials, MP, to its member associations while urging support for Mr. Platini clearly violates FIFA Statutes and Electoral Regulations. Therefore, we urge the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee, once again, to promptly take the following three actions:

(1) Refer this case to the Investigatory Chamber of the Ethics Committee in accordance with FIFA Electoral Regulations,
(2) Conduct a thorough investigation to see if AFC President Sheikh Salman, UEFA President and FIFA Presidential Candidate Michel Platini, and officials at CAF and other Confederations plotted this incident together,
(3) Take immediate measures to nullify any “support” for the candidature of Platini received through the form letters sent by AFC, the Vice President of CAF and/or any other Confederation.

We would like to once again point out that the FIFA Ad-hoc Electoral Committee reaching a hasty conclusion without having conducted a thorough investigation of relevant facts and parties, will be regarded as being tantamount to covering up an election fraud and, thus once again, urge the committee to conduct a thorough investigation of this matter.

 

Mr. LIN Byung-taik
Spokesman for FIFA Presidential Candidate, Dr. MJ Chung

 

 

[보도자료] FIFA선관위 결정에 대한 입장(2015.09.11)

 

Dr. Chung faces no criminal allegation. Urges FIFA to manage a fair and open Presidential election according to due process.(2015.08.25)

 

August 25, 2015

Whether or not the upcoming FIFA Presidential election takes place according to due process, fairness and openness will be the litmus test for whether or not genuine reform of FIFA will be possible. Only a fair and open election can resuscitate FIFA’s reputation which has been gravely undermined by scandals old and new.

Unfortunately, there are increasing signs that the election is deteriorating into a typical FIFA affair with selective leaks of so-called “confidential” information, accusations of wrong-doing based on “unconfirmed reports,” un-named “sources” and “insiders.” The recent press reports attacking Dr. Chung’s character and integrity are based on such unconfirmed, leaked sources and full of factual distortions.

To be clear, contrary to recent press reports based on FIFA leaks, Dr. Chung is not facing any criminal charges or allegations of bribery, fraud, corruption, vote buying or even a breach of “conflict of interest” under the FIFA Ethics Code from the Ethics Committee. Beyond that, Dr. Chung refrains from commenting on any possible Ethics Committee proceedings out of respect for confidentiality requests made by FIFA. However, by leaking information that could only have come from within FIFA, FIFA is violating its own rules and regulations that it imposes upon others. Indeed, the current election is in danger of being manipulated to a degree unseen even in previous notorious FIFA presidential elections.

This is not just a matter of who gets elected the next President of FIFA. It is a matter of what kind of FIFA will emerge out of this current crisis. Will it be the old corrupt FIFA shunned by fans, or will it be a new FIFA that can truly represent and raise to new heights our beautiful game? This is what hangs in the balance.

Mr. LIN Byung-taik
Spokesman for FIFA Presidential Candidate, Dr. MJ Chung

[보도자료] 정몽준 명예부회장 그 어떤 형사상의 혐의 받고 있지 않아(2015.08.25)