Two former Fifa execs took millions in bribes
The former president of football’s world governing body and one of its executive committee members took millions in bribes from a marketing partner, according to documents released late Wednesday.
Joao Havelange, FIFA president from 1974-1998, pocketed at least 1.5 million Swiss francs (1.53 million dollars) in March 1997 from a marketing company, according to documents from a Swiss prosecutor.
Fellow Brazilian Ricardo Teixeira, a former FIFA executive committee member, received more than 12 million Swiss francs from 1974-1998.
The documents were compiled by the prosecution authorities in the Swiss canton of Zug as part of an investigation into alleged bribery among FIFA executives by now-defunct sports marketing company ISL.
The pair took a further 41 million Swiss francs from ISL from 1992-2000, the prosecutor said.
In total, ISL made payments of 138 million Swiss francs in bribes between 1989 and 2001, involving several FIFA officials.
The case was closed in May 2010 after the repayment of an undisclosed sum by the two, but the Swiss Supreme Court Wednesday ordered the documents released, following a request by media organizations.
FIFA awarded the television broadcasting rights of the 2002 and 2006 World Cup tournaments to ISL.
Teixeira, the former son-in-law of Havelange, was also head of Brazil’s football association for 23 years. He stepped down from that position and his FIFA role in March for unspecified personal reasons.
The case could damage current FIFA president, Havelange’s successor Sepp Blatter, if he is found to have known about the bribes.
Havelange, 96, was discharged from hospital in May after spending more than two months undergoing treatment to his ankle and heart.
He was also a member of the International Olympic Committee from 1963 until last year, when he resigned amid corruption allegations.