ZURICH (Reuters) - Lisle Austin has been banned from all soccer-related activity for one year by FIFA for taking his case to a civil court over CONCACAF’s decision to oust him as acting president.
The Barbadian was in charge of the North, Central and Caribbean soccer confederation for four days following the suspension of its long-standing president Jack Warner in May over corruption allegations.
FIFA said on Wednesday that Austin had been banned by its disciplinary committee “for lodging a claim related to football matters in front of the ordinary courts in the Bahamas, constituting a breach of... the FIFA statutes.”
Soccer’s world governing body added that Austin must withdraw his case before he can be reinstated.
“Should Lisle Austin not withdraw the claim lodged in front of the ordinary courts in the Bahamas definitively and irrevocably, he will remain banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity at national and international level... for as long as the legal proceedings in ordinary courts are pursued,” said a FIFA statement.
Warner, who also sat on the FIFA executive committee, was suspended after allegations of bribery and pending further investigations by the world governing body’s ethics committee.
Warner later resigned, the investigation against him was dropped and he was presumed innocent.
Austin, who as CONCACAF’s most senior vice-president had replaced Warner, was in charge for just four days during which he tried to fire general secretary Chuck Blazer.
Austin also announced that he was conducting a ‘forensic audit’ of the regional body’s accounts over the past five years.
The Barbadian said he had tried to revoke Blazer’s signing authority over the bank accounts of CONCACAF.
He was sacked by CONCACAF’s executive committee but maintained he was the victim of a power grab and said he had won a court order in the Bahamas allowing him to return to office.
Editing by Ken Ferris; To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org