Sports: FIFA Re-Opens Bribes Inquiry



FIFA president announces bribery investigation

FIFA president announces bribery investigation

Fifa, football’s governing body, has asked an independent committee to lead a new investigation into a case about bribery and the collapse of a former sponsorship partner.

Documents relating to the case allegedly show senior Fifa officials accepted inappropriate favours from marketing partners. They are accused of taking bribes in exchange for television and sponsorship rights to the World Cup during the 1990s.

President speaks

The president of Fifa, Sepp Blatter, denies that there have been any inappropriate or corrupt business dealings on the part of Fifa.

He said in a statement that the issue has been brought up again by national associations and members. Because of this, the executive committee of Fifa has decided that they should re-examine the case.

The committee will examine the documents that relate to the now-collapsed marketing partner, International Sport and Leisure, during a meeting scheduled to take place in December.

Suspicions about the charges abound because it is said that the football governing body has in the past blocked attempts made by journalists to release the documents publicly.

Former settlement

Fifa has tried to keep the story private to the extent that its lawyers paid 5.5 million Swiss francs (£3.9 million) to settle the case out of court. Under terms of the settlement, the identities of the officials involved were also kept secret.

Fifa president Blatter also announced an overhaul of the ethics bodies of Fifa.

There will be three new “task forces” and a “good governance” committee that will sprearhead reforms, Blatter said. He also put forth a two-year timetable in which to enact these reforms.

Blatter stated that the committee has opened the case at his request, and will sit down to re-open the file on the 16-17 of December.

He said that any subsequent measures, if they need to be taken, will not be done by Fifa.

They will then given the file to an independent body outside of Fifa, “so they can delve into this file and extract its conclusions and present them to us,” Blatter said.

 

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