Football’s world body Fifa says Zambia’s former African Footballer of the Year, Kalusha Bwalya, has had his two-year ban from all football reduced on appeal.
Back in August, Fifa banned Bwalya – then a Confederation of African Football (Caf) executive committee member – for accepting a gift which violated Fifa’s code of ethics.
It followed an investigation into his links to banned Qatari official Mohammed Bin Hammam. 55-year-old Bwalya has always denied any wrongdoing.
On Monday, Fifa said its appeal panel had reduced Bwalya’s ban to the time he had already served, while his fine was also cut to 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,090) from 100,000 Swiss francs ($100,900).
“The Fifa Appeal Committee decided to reduce the duration of the ban from taking part in any football-related activity imposed on Mr Bwalya to the period already served at the time of the notification of the present decision.
“As a consequence, the ban imposed on Mr Bwalya ended upon notification of the decision of the Fifa Appeal Committee.”
Bwalya said he was “happy and relieved to be back in the game” and he thanked those who had supported him.
A former president of the Football Association of Zambia, Bwalya withdrew his candidacy for a Fifa council seat during the investigation.
In 1988, he was voted African Player of the Year by Caf and later went on to be coach of the Zambia national team.