Another former member of FIFA's Executive Committee has been handed a temporary ban from football. Worawi Makudi, the head of the Thai Football Association, is up for re-election to that post in the next few days.
FIFA's Ethics Committee announced in a statement posted on its website on Monday that it had handed the 63-year-old Makudi a 90-day ban from all activities related to national and international football - with immediate effect.
According to the statement, the decision to ban Makudi was based "on the grounds that a breach of the Code of Ethics appears to have been committed and a decision on the main issue may not be taken early enough."
"The case is now the subject of formal investigation proceedings," the statement concluded, without providing any details about the alleged breach.
Maukudi was on the Executive Committee in December 2010 when it voted to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.
Switzerland's attorney-general has opened an investigation into the bidding process for the two tournaments, which was previously the subject of a FIFA ethics probe conducted by former chief ethics investigator Michael Garcia.
Speaking to the AFP news agency, Makudi denied any wrongdoing and said he was determined to run for re-election as the president of the Thai Football Association on Saturday, even though the FIFA ban would appear to preclude this.
"I will stand, I have done nothing wrong but it depends on FIFA," he said.
Makudi also claimed that a Thai court had acted wrongly, when it handed him a suspended sentence for forgery back in July.
"I am not guilty of anything. Under Thai law I still have the right to appeal (the Thai court decision)," he insisted. "I did not falsify anything, what I did was absolutely legal."
Series of bans
Makudi is just the latest high-profile soccer executive to be banned by FIFA's Ethics Committee. Last week, it imposed a six-year ban on South Korean former FIFA Vice President Chung Mong-joon in connection with the investigation into the 2018 and 2022 bidding process. He has denied any wrongdoing.
pfd/jh (AFP, Reuters, dpa)