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Fifa bans former African player of year Bwalya

Kalusha Bwalya was voted African player of the year in 1988 and later went on to be coach of the Zambia national team and president of the Zambian Football Association.

FILE: Former football player Kalusha Bwalya of Zambia shows the paper of Mali during the final draw of the Africa Cup of Nations. Picture: AFP.

MANCHESTER - Zambia’s former African footballer of the year Kalusha Bwalya has been banned from the game for two years by world governing body Fifa after an investigation into his links to banned Qatari official Mohammed Bin Hammam.

The adjudicatory chamber of Fifa’s Ethics Committee said on Friday that they had banned Bwalya, a member of the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), for two years from “all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level.”

Fifa said in a statement they had been investigating the 54-year-old Bwalya since February 2017 “focused principally on benefits that Mr Bwalya had received from Mr Bin Hammam.”

“The adjudicatory chamber found Mr Bwalya guilty of having violated art. 16 (Confidentiality) and art. 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits) of the Fifa Code of Ethics. A fine in the amount of CHF 100,000 ($100,573.2) was also imposed on Mr Bwalya.”

Bwalya was voted African player of the year in 1988 and later went on to be coach of the Zambia national team and president of the Zambian Football Association. He was not immediately reachable for comment.

Bin Hammam was banned for life from football by Fifa in 2011 for his part in a cash-for-votes scandal. The Qatari has denied any wrongdoing.

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