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FIFA Officials Accepted Tens of Millions in Bribes, According to Swiss Court Documents

Released Swiss court documents reveal former FIFA president Joao Havelange and former Brazilian confederation president (and FIFA executive committee member) Ricardo Teixeira received tens of millions in bribes in the 1990s from former FIFA marketing partner ISL.

Havelange, in office from 1974 to 1998, accepted a payment of around $1 million in 1997. Teixeira, in office from 1989 to 2012, accepted bribes from ISL worth at least $13 million from 1992 to 1997. The revelations exceed figures first reported by Andrew Jennings of BBC’s Panorama.

The two men and FIFA paid a combined $6.1 million to close off a Swiss prosecutor’s investigation and end criminal proceedings against the two men in May 2010. Havelange remained FIFA’s honorary president. Teixeira stayed on FIFA’s executive committee until resigning in 2012 for purported health reasons.

FIFA wanted to make it especially clear that then general secretary Sepp Blatter is not accused of accepting a bribe in this case, though he knew of and protected those who did.

It’s worth remembering this is just one instance, that we have found out about. Jennings has also accused Havelange of funneling more than $40 million in bribes through a sham company called “Sicuretta.” Teixeira, though never charged formally, has been investigated multiple times in Brazil for crimes including tax evasion, money laundering and “diverting public funding.”

Considering this climate the awarding of World Cups in 2018 to Russia and 2022 to Qatar should come as no surprise. The awarding of the 2014 World Cup to Brazil could use a healthy dose of skepticism as well.

[Photo via Getty]

Previously: FIFA Vice President Jack Warner Resigns to Avoid Corruption Probe
Previously: FIFA is Building a $198 Million Underground Museum, Because It Can
Previously: Sepp Blatter Single-Handedly Saving FIFA, Possibly the Universe
Previously: Sepp Blatter Downplays Racist Incidents, Causes Firestorm

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