Legal action forces Fifa to delay releasing ISL documents

 

Fifa has been forced to postpone the publication of Swiss court documents that are believed to name senior officials who accepted payments, after legal action by one of those involved.

The organisation's president, Sepp Blatter, had promised to release the papers that relate to the collapse of Fifa's marketing company ISL later this month as a sign of the governing body's desire to deal with corruption allegations, but announced yesterday that an "objection of a third party" – reported to be Ricardo Teixeira – meant publication is now not likely until February.

Teixeira, a member of Fifa's executive committee (Ex-Co) and the man in charge of Brazilian football, was named in a BBC Panorama investigation as having received payments from ISL. The programme also claimed Joao Havelange, Blatter's predecessor as Fifa president, and Nicolas Leoz and Issa Hayatou, both current Ex-Co members, accepted payments. All four deny the allegations. Earlier this week Havelange, 95, resigned from the International Olympic Committee just days before it announces the outcome of an inquiry into the case.

Blatter said: "I have been advised that as a result of the objection of a third party 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 as an important part of my many reform plans for Fifa, which include handling the past."

The court documents cover a settlement reached under Swiss law last year in which senior officials admitted taking kickbacks and repaid 5.5m Swiss francs (£3.8m) on condition their identities remained anonymous.

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