By Simon Evans
(Reuters) - Soccer's world governing body FIFA has banned Markus Kattner, a former leading official in the Zurich organisation, for 10 years and has fined him one million Swiss francs ($1.06 million) after a probe into bonus payments.
"The adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has found Markus Kattner, former FIFA Deputy Secretary General and Acting Secretary General, guilty of conflicts of interest and having abused his position, in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics," FIFA said in a statement on Tuesday.
"The investigation into Mr Kattner covered various charges concerning bonus payments in relation to FIFA competitions that were paid to top FIFA management officials (including Mr Kattner), various amendments to and extensions of employment contracts, reimbursement of private legal costs, and Mr Kattner’s duties as an official."
FIFA said in June, 2016, that an internal investigation revealed that Kattner, FIFA's former Secretary General Jerome Valcke and the organisation's ex-President Sepp Blatter had received 79 million Swiss francs ($81 million) in compensation over five years, calling them “massive payouts”.
Blatter, who led FIFA from 1998 until 2015, was banned from football for six years in February 2016, while Valcke is banned until 2028.
The 45-year-old Kattner, who holds German and Swiss citizenship, joined FIFA as Director of Finance in 2003 and four years later became Deputy Secretary General.
He became Acting Secretary General in September 2015, after the departure of Valcke, but was then fired in May 2016.
According to the Ethics Committee's final judgement, Kattner argued that the ethics process against him had not been fair and that he did not grant any bonus payments either to himself or to anyone else in the top management.
The official can appeal the FIFA ban to the Court of Arbitration of Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.
(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris)