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Havelange, Teixeira implicated in FIFA corruption

Switzerland’s supreme court has ordered the release of a report further implicating former senior figures at FIFA in long-term corruption.

International Sports and Leisure, a partner organisation of world football’s governing body which collapsed in 2001, is alleged to have bribed former FIFA President Joao Havelange and executive committee member Ricardo Teixeira.

The Swiss supreme court this week ordered the release of a previously-suppressed prosecutor’s report revealing the two men may have received kickbacks totalling 14.4 million pounds, with Havelange receiving at least 986,000 pounds and Teixeira at least 8.4 million pounds.

Documents made available by the court are believed to identify which senior FIFA officials serving in the organisation at the time took payments from ISL in return for lucrative marketing rights in their respective territories.

Amid widespread calls for the body to address perceived corruption, FIFA president Sepp Blatter last year said he was in favour of releasing the ISL dossier.

“FIFA is pleased that the ISL non-prosecution order can now be made public,” a statement from FIFA said.

“This decision by the Federal Court is in line with what FIFA and the FIFA president have been advocating since 2011, when world football’s governing body announced its commitment to the publication of the ISL non-prosecution order.

“The decision of the Swiss Federal Court also confirms that only two foreign officials will be named as part of the process and that the FIFA president is not involved in the case.”

BBC’s Panorama television programme last year alleged three FIFA officials, including Teixeira, received bribes from ISL during the 1990s.

Broadcast shortly before the 2018 and 2022 World Cup host countries were announced, the programme received heavy criticism from FIFA executive committee members, and is believed to have contributed to the elimination of England’s bid in the first round of voting.

“A year long legal battle by BBC Panorama to force publication of documents related to a confidential police investigation into bribery and corruption at FIFA was vindicated today,” the BBC said in a statement.

“In Panorama – Fifa’s Dirty Secrets in November 2010, reporter Andrew Jennings named the two officials as recipients of bribes from the Swiss ISL sports marketing company, which was repeatedly given lucrative World Cup marketing rights by Fifa.”

Havelange resigned from the International Olympic Committee in December, days before the Olympic governing body was due to sanction him following its own investigation into his dealings with ISL.

Meanwhile, Teixeira resigned as head of Brazil’s football federation and the 2014 FIFA World Cup organising committee earlier this year.

Thu 12 Jul, 2012
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