Fifa, football’s world governing body, knew about millions of dollars paid in kickbacks to João Havelange, the organisation’s former president, and Ricardo Teixeira, the former head of Brazilian football, a report drawn up by a Swiss prosecutor has revealed.
The document on the so-called ISL scandal was published for the first time on Wednesday, having been suppressed since 2010 after the two individuals reached a deal to end the criminal investigation. The Swiss federal court ordered the report’s publication, which Mr Havelange and Mr Teixeira had tried to block.
The 41-page document said that in 1997 Mr Havelange received SFr1.5m, during his period as Fifa president from ISL, a marketing company commissioned by Fifa that collapsed in 2001.
A company, of which Mr Teixeira, a former Fifa executive committee member, was the beneficial owner, received at least SFr12.7m from ISL between 1992 and 1999. Another group, of which the two were beneficial owners, received payments of SFr21.9m between June 1999 and May 2000.
The prosecutor’s office of the canton of Zug opened criminal proceedings against the two and against Fifa in August 2005. The two were investigated for “embezzlement, possibly disloyalty management”, while Fifa was investigated for disloyalty management.
The two “unlawfully used assets entrusted to [them] for [their] own enrichment several times”, the report states. As part of the settlement, Fifa agreed to pay SFr2.5m in compensation, Mr Teixeira paid SFr2.5m and Mr Havelange paid SFr500,000. The prosecutor dismissed the charges.
The report described Fifa as “a deficient organisation in its enterprise” before the collapse of ISL. “The finding that Fifa had knowledge of the bribery payments to persons within its organs is not questioned,” it states.
“This is firstly because various members of the executive committee had received money …[and] it was confirmed by the former chief financial officer of Fifa as a witness that a certain payment made to João Havelange …amounting to SFr1m was mistakenly directly transferred to a Fifa account.”
Fifa said it was pleased that the Swiss federal court had granted consent for the report’s publication, which it had advocated as part of a road map to its reform.
● Fifa has opened an investigation into claims of spot-fixing in the English Premier League by a former Southampton captain. The UK’s Sun newspaper published comments from Claus Lundekvam that he and other club captains colluded to manipulate minor moments in matches, such as the time of the first throw-ins and corners, in order to make money on bets.
The ex-Norwegian international said the scam did not involve influencing the outcome of matches.
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