May 22, 2013
FIFA bans executive committee member Fernando
President Sepp Blatter's push to clean up FIFA flushed out another potentially corrupt official today when executive committee member Vernon Manilal Fernando of Sri Lanka was banned from any football activity for three months.
A source close to FIFA said the 63-year-old - a member of the executive since 2011 - was banned while Michael Garcia, the chairman of the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee, examines an alleged misuse of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) funds.
Fernando was a close ally of former FIFA executive committee member and AFC president Mohamed Bin Hammam, who was banned from football for life by FIFA following his involvement in the 2011 bribery scandal when he was standing against Blatter for president.
Bin Hammam was due to stand against Blatter in the election but pulled out after it was alleged he tried to bribe Caribbean delegates.
Fernando accompanied Bin Hammam on his ill-fated trip to Trinidad which precipitated the Qatari's downfall.
Despite his initial ban being annulled by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Bin Hammam resigned from all his football-related responsibilities in December after being charged with repeated violations while president of the AFC.
He was again banned for life by FIFA.
Fernando lists his profession as an attorney at law on FIFA's executive committee web page, says his hobby is "playing the stock market" and states his fondest footballing memories are meeting Pele and "being elected at FIFA".