Fifa corruption: FBI ‘to investigate’ 2014 World Cup as part of corruption probe

Over 1,000 contracts regarding the 2014 World Cup in Brazil could be examined

Jack de Menezes
Thursday 04 June 2015 17:38 BST
Germany lift the World Cup in 2014
Germany lift the World Cup in 2014

The FBI are to investigate the 2014 Fifa World Cup as part of the corruption allegations that has rocked the world governing body, it has been reported.

Estadao claims that sources close to the corruption investigation being led by the Department of Justice have said that last summer’s tournament in Brazil may be “examined”. Last week, an FBI investigation into alleged widespread corruption led to the indictment of 18 former and current Fifa officials.

As part of the inquiry, more than 1,000 different contracts that were agreed ahead of the 2014 World Cup could be investigated.

Former head of the Brazilian Football Association (CFB) Ricardo Teixeira was responsible for bringing the World Cup back to Brazil, although he resigned from his post and his role on the World Cup organising committee in March 2012 before the World Cup took place.

Mr Teixeira agreed numerous contracts with Jerome Valcke, current Fifa general secretary, regarding the running of the tournament across Brazil.

Teixiera was accused of taking bribes in the 1990s in return for awarding contracts for the sale of television rights for the World Cup, with investigative journalist Andrew Jenning’s accusing Teixiera and his former father-in-law and ex-Fifa president Joao Havelange of amassing $9.5m in bribes from defunct Fifa marketing firm ISL.

Both would make repayments after they were prosecuted for alleged embezzlement, though the case was halted in May 2010 when the repayments made by two were deemed reasonable.

Prosecutors in Brazil are currently investigating allegations that $1m was paid in bribes by the Brazilian arm of German company Bilfiger for contracts with the control centre and security at the 2014 World Cup.

Ricardo Teixeira and Jerome Valcke (Getty Images)

In a statement in March, Bilfinger Germany said “In the course of internal investigations into possible compliance violations, Bilfinger has been reviewing the activities of Group companies active in Brazil for several months. After looking at all accounting transactions from past years, current information indicates that potentially improper payments exist of less than €1 million in total.

Bilfinger informed the responsible Brazilian authority CGU (Controladoria-Geral da União). Following the completion of its internal investigations, Bilfinger will provide the results to the CGU and will support further investigation into the incident”.

Valcke has already spoken to strongly deny having any involvement in an alleged $10m bribe paid to disgraced former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner and whistle-blower Chuck Blazer, after a letter was published by the Press Association which referred to a payment for the Diaspora Legacy Programme. The letter was sent by the former South African Football Association president Molefi Oliphant to Valcke himself.

Teixeira (left) and Valcke (right) either side of Sepp Blatter (Getty Images)

Valcke told French radio: “There is nothing against me.” Fifa has strongly denied that Mr Valcke or other officials were involved.

Mr Valcke is not under indictment and prosecutors have not accused him of wrongdoing.

When contacted by The Independent, the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York refused to comment on the reports.

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