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Thursday, October 20, 2011

FORMER FIFA VP TO RESUME AFTER A 12 MONTH ABSENCE



Former Fifa vice president Reynald Temarii of Tahiti ends his 12-month suspension from football on Wednesday still protesting he was the victim of injustice.


Tenarii will be allowed into the Tahiti football federation headquarters at 12 noon (2200GMT) having completed his 12 month ban for tresspassing FIfa confidentiality rule.


His six year presidency of the Oceania Football Confederation was ended after he was cleared of corrupt charges. He was secretly filmed for speaking to undercover journalists during lobbying for the World Cup hosting rights for the 2018 and 202 editions of the competition.


"I feel like someone who did nothing wrong," Temarii told The Associated Press via email.


Fifa will be holding a two day executive meeting in Zurich to start the enactment of Sepp Blatter's Zero Tolerance anti corruption reforms.


Temarii said he did not follow Fifa's explosive internal politics this year and is not much concerned with Blatter's scheduled announcement Friday.


"I don't care," Temarii, a former professional player in France, said. "I'm not interested to be back quickly on the world football stage.


"First of all, I will meet my people on the football field in Tahiti."


The Sunday Times reporters sought information as to how Fifa awards the rights to host a World Cup while posing as lobbyists trying to buy votes.


Temarii met with a reporter at Oceania Football Confederation headquarters in Auckland, New Zealand, in September 2010 and was filmed appearing to ask for $3 million New Zealand dollars (then $2.3 million; 1.7 million pounds) to fund a football academy there.


"This meeting was held in my office with two of my staff, included the OFC general secretary, Tai Nicholas, who is a lawyer," Temarii explained to The AP. "The doors of my office were opened. It's enough to understand that I had nothing to hide."


Temarii said he told the journalist that his 2018-2022 votes could not be bought and would be decided by the OFC executive committee.


"And this is exactly what happened," Temarii says of an October 15, 2010 meeting in Tonga.


Temarii said he spent much of the year quietly with his family. Aged just 44, he is young by Fifa standards and believes he has much to offer.


"My hopes are still the same. Use football as a tool to educate the youth, to promote 'mutual respect,' to fight obesity. I'll be back as a normal volunteer and I don't care about my reputation in world football."


Can he envisage a return?


"In Tahiti, on Wednesday. In OFC and Fifa, (we) will see."