Wednesday 18 October 2017

FIFA boss Sepp Blatter knew about bribes, according to controversial court document

FIFA's leaders, including current president Sepp Blatter, knew that senior officials had been paid millions of pounds in bribes by the organisation's former marketing company ISL, a court document published yesterday has revealed.

Despite that knowledge, neither former president Joao Havelange nor executive committee member Ricardo Teixeira ever faced disciplinary action from FIFA.

Instead, the world governing body also agreed to pay a Swiss court 2.5million Swiss francs (£1.64m) in compensation - but only on the condition that criminal proceedings against Havelange and Teixeira were dropped.

FIFA have published the report by the prosecutor's office of the Swiss canton of Zug on their website, but it leaves big question marks about why no action was ever taken against Havelange or Teixeira, and why the organisation went to such lengths to protect the two senior figures.

The report states: "The finding that FIFA had knowledge of the bribery payments to persons within its organs is not questioned.

"This is firstly because various members of the executive committee had received money, and furthermore, among other things, it was confirmed by the former chief financial officer of FIFA as a witness that a certain payment made to Joao Havelange... amounting to CHF1m was mistakenly directly transferred to a FIFA account; not only the CFO had knowledge of this, but also, among others, P1 would also have known about it."

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