Blatter promises to name names at Fifa


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The Independent Online

Sepp Blatter yesterday gave a commitment to disclose court papers that give details of alleged bribes paid to Fifa officials as he unveiled his long-awaited reforms that are designed to clean up world football's troubled governing body within two years.

Fifa had previously paid £3.9m to a Swiss court to settle the case of ISL, the marketing company linked to Fifa that collapsed with huge debts in 2001, and seal the files. A court document is said to disclose detail of alleged bribes paid to Fifa officials, including Nicolas Leoz, a current member of the Executive Committee. A BBC Panorama programme last year also alleged Ricardo Teixeira, another ExCo member and the man in charge of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, his father-in-law Joao Havelange, and a third current ExCo member, Issa Hayatou, all accepted bribes from ISL. Leoz, Havelange, Hayatou and Teixeira deny the allegations.

The 41-page document will be handed to an independent panel that will then report to the ExCo's next meeting in Tokyo in December whether any sanctions are required. After that the document will be made public. A Fifa official said yesterday it would be in the public domain "within months not years." "It is a very complicated case that has very important legal repercussions," said Blatter, who said the decision was reached without dissent. Blatter also drew attention to the fact that any names that could be revealed are "not Swiss people, only foreign people."

Blatter laid out what he called "a bit of a Formula One" road map to reform that is scheduled to end at the Fifa Congress in Mauritius in 2013. A Good Governance Committee (GGC) – labelled a "watchdog" by Blatter – will be created to which four task forces will report over the next two years.