Former Guatemalan FA president Jimenez banned for life

Former Guatemalan football federation president Brayan Jimenez exits the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in the Brooklyn borough of New York March 2, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

ZURICH (Reuters) - Former Guatemalan football chief Brayan Jimenez has been banned from the sport for life for offences which included "bribery and corruption", FIFA's ethics committee said on Monday.

Jimenez, also a former member of a FIFA committee for fair play and social responsibility, was among several dozen officials who were indicted in the United States in 2015, sparking the biggest corruption scandal in the history of the global soccer body.

He pleaded guilty to racketeering and corruption charges before a U.S. judge in July and is due to be sentenced on April 28.

The ethics committee said in a statement that Jimenez, who headed the Guatemala FA from 2009 to 2015, had been found to have violated six articles of FIFA’s own code of ethics.

It said that Jimenez "asked for and received bribes" from sports marketing companies in relation to the award of television and sponsorship rights for World Cup qualifiers in Central America, and for Guatemala's participation in international friendlies.

"As a consequence, the official is banned for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at national and international level," the statement said.

The U.S. district attorney said at the time of Jimenez's plea bargain that the bribes he accepted totaled "hundreds of thousands of dollars".

Several other officials have also pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing, others have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial and some are in their homeland where they are fighting, or have avoided, extradition.

Meanwhile, former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been banned from the sport for six years and is the subject of criminal proceedings by the Swiss attorney general's office.

(Writing by Brian Homewood; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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