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FIFA names its former head in kickbacks case
Joao Havelange and former head of Brazil's football governing body received kickbacks totalling $22m, dossier reveals.
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2012 09:50
Ricardo Teixeira and Havelange [not in picture] repaid some of the money to try stop the probe [EPA]

FIFA's former president and Brazil's one-time football leader pocketed millions of dollars in a World Cup kickbacks scandal, football's world governing body has said.

Joao Havelange and Ricardo Teixeira received $1m and $13m respectively, according to a 41-page dossier published on Wednesday by FIFA.

It said Teixeira, who headed the Brazilian Football Confederation for 23 years until March, received the money from 1992-97 in payments from World Cup marketing partner ISL.

The Swiss-based agency's collapse into bankruptcy in 2001 sparked a criminal probe and exposed the routine practice of buying influence from senior sports officials.

The dossier showed Havelange, who is also Brazilian, took his kickback in 1997, one year before he was succeeded as FIFA president by Sepp Blatter.

Payments "attributed" to accounts connected to the two men totalled almost $22m from 1992-2000.

Dossier blocked

FIFA released the dossier, blocked from publication since June 2010,hours after Switzerland's Supreme Court threw out an appeal by Havelange and Teixeira to suppress the document.

Prosecutors, FIFA and two of the most powerful men in world football had reached a settlement deal to close the criminal investigation.

"FIFA is pleased that the ISL non-prosecution order can now be made public," a statement from the football body said.

It added that media organisations should receive details of the ISL case.

The scale of kickbacks tied to World Cup broadcasting and marketing deals was revealed in a report by a prosecutor in the Swiss canton (state) of Zug who investigated Havelange and Teixeira for "embezzlement, or alternatively disloyal management".

FIFA, Havelange and Teixeira repaid $6.1m to end prosecutor Thomas Hildbrand's probe on condition that their identities remain secret.

Teixeira, who repaid $2.5m, denied criminal conduct while Havelange, who paid $500,000,"did not comment on the accusation of criminal conduct", the dossier said.

Before agreeing to repay $2.5m, FIFA made its "consent conditional" upon dropping proceedings against its former head and then-serving member of its executive committee, the report showed.

Still, Hildbrand's report criticised FIFA as "a deficient organization in its enterprise'" prior to ISL's collapse.

Assets abuse

Havelange and his former son-in-law Teixeira "unlawfully used assets entrusted to (them) for (their) own enrichment several times. FIFA suffered an equivalent loss.

After helping broker the anonymity deal, FIFA was also a party to earlier appeals to block publication until dropping out of the case last December.

Calls on Wednesday to the Brazilian Football Confederation went unanswered.

Blatter, who was Havelange's secretary general for 17 years, said in October that he wanted to release the ISL dossier despite his organization seeking to deny reporters access to its contents at the same time.

Though Blatter has not been accused of accepting unethical payments, the ISL affair has clouded much of his 14-year FIFA presidency.

Seeking closure has become central in his promised mission to improve FIFA's image and governance.

Blatter was not specifically named in the redacted document, though he appeared to be represented several times as "P1".

Hildbrand's report said it was "not questioned" that FIFA personnel knew about kickback payments.

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Source:
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