Friday 24 November 2017

FIFA knew about bribes to top brass, says report

Jamie Holland

FIFA chiefs had knowledge that senior officials, including former president Joao Havelange, had been paid bribes by the organisation's former marketing company ISL.

A court document published yesterday also revealed that football's world governing body agreed to pay €2m in compensation -- but only on the condition that criminal proceedings against Havelange and executive committee member Ricardo Teixeira were dropped.

The publication of the report by the prosecutor's office of the Swiss canton of Zug suggests that current FIFA president Sepp Blatter would have been aware of at least one bribe paid to Havelange.

FIFA have published the report 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; 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 €830,000 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."

The person referred to in the report as P1 is not identified, but it also states that P1 and Havelange had signed the marketing agreement with ISL on behalf of FIFA in 1997.

It is known that the agreement was signed by Havelange, who was then president, and Blatter, who was then general secretary.

The documents state Havelange was paid at least €1.2m, Teixeira at least €10m and the pair may have received as much as €18.3m.

The two men have dominated Brazilian football between them for the last 50 years. Teixeira, who at one time was Havelange's son-in-law, stepped down earlier this year from FIFA's executive committee and as head of Brazil's 2014 World Cup organising committee after it became apparent the report would be published.

Teixeira and Havelange also tried to block the publication by going to the Swiss federal court, but failed.

Irish Independent

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