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European organizations urge removal of Ukrainian football chief Pavelko from UEFA election

February 06, 21:03 UTC+3 MOSCOW

In February, the Pechyora District Court of Kiev registered 13 corruption cases regarding Andrei Pavelko

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The UEFA Headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland

The UEFA Headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland

© AP Photo/Keystone, Dominic Favre

MOSCOW, February 6. /TASS/. /TASS/. The Ukrainian NGO Future Initiatives and the French law association Sherpa asked UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin to remove the candidacy of Andrei Pavelko, the president of the Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU), from the list of candidates running for a seat on the UEFA Executive Committee, citing a conflict of interests, the French daily Le Monde reported.

On February 7, the 43rd Ordinary UEFA Congress in Italy’s Rome is set to elect new members of the Executive Committee. FFU President Pavelko is among the registered candidates. The candidacy of the 43-year-old FFU chief was backed by former World Boxing Champion and incumbent Mayor of Kiev Vitali Klitschko as well as by Sergei Bubka, the president of the Ukrainian National Olympic Committee.

However, on February 4, former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk sent an open letter to UEFA President Ceferin, in which he stated that Pavelko "was sick with corruption." Kravchuk, who served as the first president of Ukraine, stated that Pavelko had no legal rights to be on the UEFA Executive Committee, since he is also the chairman of the Supreme Rada’s Budget Committee.

"Pavelko’s situation is obviously about the conflict of interests," William Bourdon, the founder of Sherpa, was quoted by Le Monde as saying. "The fight against corruption demands counteractions against the conflict of interests, particularly if they are detrimental to the reputation of such a grand federation."

Le Monde added that both, the Ukrainian NGO Future Initiatives and the French law association Sherpa, hope that the candidacy of Pavelko would be removed from the elections to the UEFA Executive Committee.

Pavelko was elected to the Supreme Rada as a member of the Pyotr Poroshenko Bloc in 2014 and later took charge of the parliament’s Budget Committee. In February 2019, the Pechyora District Court of Kiev registered 13 corruption cases regarding Pavelko. He has been also accused on numerous occasions of violations in his post as the FFU president, which he occupied in March 2015.

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