Sri Lanka’s Fernando challenges FIFA over life ban

COLOMBO, October 10, 2013 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s former football chief Manilal Fernando will challenge an “unfair and harsh” life ban imposed on him by FIFA for corruption, lawyers said Thursday. Fernando, a former member of the FIFA executive board, will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after seeing an earlier ban for eight years increased by the sport’s world governing body on Wednesday after a failed appeal.

Lawyers for Fernando, who turns 64 on Sunday, said in Colombo their client felt his punishment had been increased as a “deterrent” against exercising the right to appeal within the FIFA system.

“Fernando feels that a life ban on him is unfair and harsh,” the lawyers said in a statement.

“On legal advice Fernando has no alternative but to appeal against this decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, an independent tribunal outside the FIFA process.”

Sri Lanka’s new football supremo Ranjith Rodrigo vowed Thursday to rebuild the country’s image a day after Fernando’s ban for misconduct, conflicts of interest and ethics violations.

The Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL) said the FIFA decision to increase the ban on him was a serious setback