Fifa: Legal problems delay kickbacks case document
Tuesday 06 December 2011
A key promise in Sepp Blatter's anti-corruption drive was threatened today when Fifa postponed publication of a Swiss court document naming football officials who took millions of dollars in kickbacks from World Cup broadcast deals.
Fifa said "legal measures taken" by a party involved in the 10-year-old ISL scandal prevented it from releasing the court papers on 17 December.
"These measures request another thorough legal analysis which will postpone the envisaged publication of the ISL file," Fifa said in a statement.
Fifa did not identify which third party has stalled the process.
The BBC has reported that the document implicates former Fifa President Joao Havelange and Ricardo Teixeira, the 2014 World Cup organizing committee president.
On Monday, Havelange's resignation as an IOC member was confirmed days before the Olympic body was likely to suspend the 95-year-old Brazilian, who led Fifa for 24 years until Blatter succeeded him as president in 1998.
The IOC's leadership was expected to act on an ethics commission inquiry into alleged payments made by the ISL marketing agency before its 2001 collapse with debts of $300 million.
Dealing with the ISL case became a signature test of Blatter's promised willingness to reform Fifa and world football after a slew of scandals involving bribery, vote-rigging and ticket scams.
Blatter promised in October to publish the document after his executive committee, including Teixeira, meets Dec. 16-17 in Tokyo.
"It was my strong will to make the ISL file fully transparent at this meeting," Blatter said in a statement. "I have now been advised that as a result of the objection of a third party to such transparency it will take more time to overcome the respective legal hurdles.
"This does not change my stance at all. I remain fully committed to publishing the files as soon as possible."
Blatter's promise of publication was initially met with skepticism by veteran Fifa watchers. However, Blatter and Fifa officials insisted in recent weeks that the 41-page German-language document from the Zug court would be translated into English, French and Spanish and then published.
The document details a settlement announced in June 2010 whereby senior football officials admitted taking kickbacks and repaid 5.5 million Swiss francs (then $6.1 million). The officials repaid the money on condition that their identities remained anonymous.
Blatter has said he was cleared of any wrongdoing in all aspects of the ISL case. Still, the court document could give details of his awareness of kickbacks being paid at a time when commercial bribery was not a crime in Switzerland.
Latest in Sport
Luis Suarez to Barcelona: Striker will be unveiled at the Nou Camp on Wednesday, according to reports in Spain
World Cup 2014: Neymar's agent launches scathing attack on Brazil's Luis Felipe Scolari, labelling him 'an old jerk, arrogant, repulsive, conceited and ridiculous'
Loic Remy to Arsenal? Gunners close in on move for QPR and France striker - reports
Angel di Maria: Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal 'monitoring' Real Madrid star
World Cup 2014: The 50 best players of the World Cup
- 1 Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
- 2 Question Time's 'passionate highlander' is the William Wallace of the Better Together campaign
- 3 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 4 Tony Abbott embarrasses Australia by praising Japanese WWII military, ‘getting on the sake’ and posing for ‘crotch-shot’ photo opportunity
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories