Roseau (Dominica): Former president of the Dominica Football Association (DFA), Patrick John, has indicated that he is in the process of appealing against the FIFA decision to ban him for a period of two years from all football- related activities at national, regional and international level.

John, also a former Dominica Prime Minister, who has been at the helm of local football for almost two decades, was charged with violating several of FIFA's Statutes and Articles.

The charges against John and other Caribbean football officials are related to a meeting held in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in May, which led to the downfall of former CONCACAF chief Austin 'Jack' Warner and his Asian Football Confederation (AFC) counterpart, Mohamed Bin Hammam.

There were accusations of attempts to bribe CFU officials to vote for Bin Hammam in June's presidential election against Sepp Blatter. They denied the allegations.

John and DFA treasurer Phillip White were charged with not acting with complete credibility and integrity, not fully or trustfully cooperating with ongoing FIFA investigations and not appropriately discharging his fiduciary responsibility amongst others.

White was cleared of any wrongdoing.

John, who was elected to serve another four-year term earlier this year, was not found in violation of Article 10 of the Code of Ethics which is accepting gifts and other benefits. He was also not found guilty of infringement of Article 11 of the FIFA Code of Ethics, which is accepting a bribe or gift of 40 000 dollars.

John believes that other factors were responsible for the punishment meted out to him, as he is innocent of all charges brought against him.

'Both Phillip White and I expected that we would have been exonerated and cleared of these charges. We were very surprised with the decision to ban me for two years as it was believed that the decision to do so was taking into account irrelevant considerations, specifically the fact that over 30 years ago I was convicted though I was subsequently pardoned by the President of the Commonwealth of Dominica and served only four years of a 12-year sentence.

'Additionally, the FIFA Ethics committee relied on emails circulated by me to CFU and CONCACAF members which were critical of CFU, CONCACAF, FIFA officials, Captain (Horace) Burrell, president of the Jamaica Football Federation and Chuck Blazer, general secretary of CONCACAF. All the emails were in support of Lisle Austin, acting president of CONCACAF, who was suspended. As a result, I have decided to appeal the matter and to that effect my attorney has started the process,' John said.

Former national player, Glen Etienne, who was elected 1st vice-president earlier this year, is expected to take over the presidency.

(Agencies)