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OFC President’s resignation sparked by audit into ‘potential wrongdoings’ in Auckland football project
The abrupt resignation of Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) President David Chung at the end of last week was reportedly a result of an audit into a multi-million dollar Auckland football development project revealing "potential wrongdoings".
The OFC Executive Committee met in Auckland on Sunday to discuss Chung’s resignation last week.
The meeting came after world football governing body FIFA commissioned a "forensic audit" into the OFC Home of Football, a development in the Auckland suburb of St Johns, which features two artificial turf fields, changing room facilities and flood lights.
A $15 million building with meeting rooms, offices for up to 100 people, a fitness centre, cafe, seating for 2000 people and an indoor sports facility was also planned for the site but work had stalled.
In light of the audit the OFC had appointed an external lawyer to lead an internal investigation into "potential wrongdoings and to take legal action", if required, it said.
Chung quit after seven years as President of the OFC for what were described as "personal reasons". He also reportedly stepped down form his role as a senior FIFA Vice President, which he had held since last September, while Papua New Guinea's Vice Minister for Sports Wesley Raminai has called for him to resign as President of the PNG Football Association.
The New York Times reported that the audit, conducted by PwC, raised the possibility of fraud and bribery in the construction project.
Chung denied the allegations in a letter to a member of the OFC board, the Times reported. The audit found that Chung, without issuing a tender, had hired a company with no experience of the work required for the design of the project.
A company called 3 Dimension Consultants says on its website it designed and project managed the construction of OFC buildings at Ngahue.
3 Dimension's sole shareholder Ken Dentice, who was appointed Director in 2016, said he wasn't involved in the company at the time it was working on the Home of Football.
Dentice advised Fairfax that the company had not been involved in the project for about two years and was not currently operating.
3 Dimension former Director and shareholder Emily Oakley says on her Linkedin profile she was responsible for five staff and 15 plus external consultants while she project managed FIFA's $7 million New Zealand Home of Football.
Auckland Eastern Suburbs Association Football Club Chairman Chris Ruffell said he was not surprised to hear Chung had stepped down.
He told Fairfax “the whole project has been a shambles. The laying of the turf was done poorly. Some manufacturers have alluded to us, and the council, it had not been done to the highest quality."
Ruffell advised that since the development had got underway, the club and OFC had been at loggerheads over the use of the facilities, commenting “we have constantly been battling OFC all the way along."
Tensions over the turf had stemmed from OFC not allowing the club to use the facilities for the set hours they had agreed upon.
Despite the problems, Ruffell hoped the development would progress to its next stages.
Image: David Chung.
6th April 2018 - ABRUPT RESIGNATION OF OCEANIA FOOTBALL CONFEDERATION PRESIDENT
13th October 2016 - NEW ZEALANDER SARAI BAREMAN TO HEAD FIFA’S NEW WOMENS FOOTBALL DIVISION
12th December 2014 - AUCKLAND WIN NETS WINDFALL FOR FOOTBALL IN NEW ZEALAND
6th August 2014 - AUCKLAND SPORT PLAN TARGETS INFRASTRUCTURE
24th August 2013 - OCEANIA FOOTBALL FEDERATION PILOT COMBINES MUSICAL BEATS AND FOOTBALL
5th November 2011 - NEW ZEALAND CHAIRMAN TO HEAD FIFA REFORM TASKFORCE
20th May 2011 - NAIK INSTALLED AS OCEANIA FOOTBALL FINANCE CHIEF
17th January 2011 - CHUNG REPLACES TEMARII AT HELM OF OFC
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