Saturday 3 December 2016

FIFA wants back tens of millions in stolen cash

Ben Rumsby

Published 17/03/2016 | 02:30

The governing body is seeking restitution for
The governing body is seeking restitution for "reputational harm" caused by the 41 defendants; salaries, bonuses, benefits and other compensation paid to them of $28,224,687; the "theft" of a $10m bribe by Jack Warner, Chuck Blazer and others; and other sums diverted as bribes and kickbacks.

Fifa has filed a claim for the return of "tens of millions of dollars" stolen by its former leaders yesterday after admitting for the first time it had been run by crooks.

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Football's world governing body also formally accused South Africa of paying a $10m (€8.9m) bribe to stage the 2010 World Cup in a "victim statement" and "request for restitution" submitted to the United States Attorney's Office.

Fifa lodged a 22-page claim for damages against those indicted and convicted by the US Department of Justice following dawn raids and arrests that brought it to its knees in May and December last year.

The governing body is seeking restitution for "reputational harm" caused by the 41 defendants; salaries, bonuses, benefits and other compensation paid to them of $28,224,687; the "theft" of a $10m bribe by Jack Warner, Chuck Blazer and others; and other sums diverted as bribes and kickbacks.

It was also demanding all costs incurred as a result of the defendants' crimes.

The submission by its American lawyers, Quinn Emanuel, combined accusations made in the US indictment with the findings of Fifa's own internal investigation into more than two decades of corrupt practices by its own executives.

The claim reads: "Over many years, the defendants grossly abused their positions of trust to enrich themselves, while causing significant direct and proximate harm to Fifa.

"The damage done by the defendants' greed cannot be overstated. Their actions have deeply tarnished the Fifa brand and impaired Fifa's ability to use its resources for positive actions throughout the world, and to meet its global mission of supporting and enhancing the game of football.

"While the investigation continues, the loss amounts are believed to be at least in the tens of millions of dollars."

The US government has already secured the forfeiture of more than $190m in assets from the perpetrators and identified, recovered, or frozen more than $100m.

The victim statement sees Fifa for the first time accuse South Africa of paying Warner, Blazer and a third executive committee member a $10m bribe in exchange for their votes during the bidding process for the 2010 World Cup.

And it accuses Morocco of bribing Warner during its unsuccessful bid to stage the 1998 tournament. (© Daily Telegraph London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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