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FIFA Submits Internal Corruption Investigation Reports to Authorities

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Gianni Infantino celebrates after being elected as the new FIFA President during the Extraordinary FIFA Congress at Hallenstadion on February 26, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. Photo: Alexander Hassenstein - FIFA/FIF

FIFA has submitted reports consisting of over 1,300 pages alongside 20,000 exhibits to the Swiss Attorney General after they concluded their 22-month internal investigation into alleged corruption within the organization.

American law firm Quinn Emmanuel were hired to handle the probe, initiated in June 2015 after the the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) opened their own inquiries into widespread criminal wrongdoing within world football’s governing body.

In a statement, FIFA said they were unable to release exact details of their findings due to the ongoing criminal investigations of the OAG and DOJ, but confirmed the reports would also be handed over to authorities in the US.

“FIFA committed to conducting a thorough and comprehensive investigation of the facts so we could hold wrongdoers within football accountable and cooperate with the authorities,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said.

“We have now completed that investigation and handed the evidence over to the authorities, who will continue to pursue those who enriched themselves and abused their positions of trust in football.

“FIFA will now return its focus to the game, for fans and players throughout the world.”

The continuing criminal investigation in the US, which has seen more than 40 officials indicted, largely centers on a total of $200 million in bribes and kickbacks related to media and marketing rights for major international matches and tournaments.

Sepp Blatter at the announcement of the 2014 FIFA World Cup host event in 2007.
Photo By Marcello Casal Jr. / ABr – Agência Brasil via Wikimedia

The OAG are also still looking into the way in which Germany won the rights to stage the 2006 World Cup amid allegations a slush fund was set up to bribe members of the FIFA Executive Committee, now called the FIFA Council.

In 2015, Attorney General Michael Lauber opened criminal proceedings against disgraced former President Sepp Blatter for his “disloyal” $2 million payment to ex-UEFA head Michel Platini.

Both men have since been banned by FIFA’s Ethics Committee, but Blatter has claimed he is confident he will not be convicted on any criminal charges.

Lauber is also probing the bid processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, due to be held in Russia and Qatar respectively.

Former secretary general Jérôme Valcke is also under investigation on suspicion of offences including criminal mismanagement.

The OAG had “acknowledged FIFA’s close and consistent cooperation” after the completion of the internal investigation, world football’s governing body said.

In a statement, they revealed over 2.5 million documents were reviewed and “numerous” key witnesses were interviewed.

Quinn Emmanuel revealed last year that Blatter, Valcke and Markus Kattner, the organisation’s former director of finance, had awarded themselves bonuses and pay rises totaling $80 million over a five-year period.

Blatter and Valcke are serving six and 10-year bans respectively from all footballing activity, while Kattner was sacked for “financial breaches” linked to his job.

FIFA’s law firm shed light on a series of poorly-timed contract extensions and bonuses, including for the World Cup, among the three officials.

By Liam Morgan

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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