Investigative journalist Andrew Jennings believes the corruption investigation into FIFA by the FBI and Swiss authorities will signal the end of world football’s governing body in its current form.
Long the subject of suspicion and allegations of wrong-doing, FIFA was rocked by the indictment of 14 current or former officials and executives in May, triggering a sequence of events that included dramatic public arrests and resulted in Sepp Blatter announcing his intention to step down from the organisation’s presidency next year.
Jennings, who claims to have supplied prosecutors with key information compiled during the course of his investigations, does not expect the organisation to survive the scrutiny and pressure to reform now being applied from many quarters.
“I think it is effectively the end for FIFA and I hope it is the end for FIFA because we need a new organisation that is not dirty and puts everything online so we can all see what they are really doing with the money,” he told Omnisport.
“We still wait to see what is really in the financial reports.
“They [the authorities] know what they are looking for. It is going to be incredible. Even after all my years investigating I might be a bit shocked.”
Jennings, speaking following the release of The Dirty Game, his latest book on alleged corruption within FIFA, insisted Blatter in particular will not escape justice should the 79-year-old Swiss be found guilty of wrongdoing.
“I have seen the evidence from Sepp Blatter where he gifted to Jack Warner in the Caribbean – whose votes he needed very badly to survive – a television contract which effectively gave Jack Warner $15-18million to resell rights to the World Cup. Outrageous.
“They thought they would keep it quiet forever but the document with Blatter’s signature on it has been acquired and it is now with the Swiss public prosecutor which is why he has opened this criminal investigation.
“I will be very surprised if Sepp Blatter survives that because while the Swiss are investigating that contract, just in the bushes are the FBI who have a huge team on it now doing investigation on bank transfers, wire transfers and where did the money go.”
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