FIFA and corruption? Say it isn’t so.
Two European newspapers have obtained a document naming three FIFA executive committee members who allegedly received secret payments from world soccer's former marketing agency.
The allegations come just three days before the trio are to take part in FIFA's vote on the hosts for the 2018 and 2002 World Cups.
The reports say the men received kickbacks from marketing agency ISL from 1988-99.
ISL went bust in May 2001, leaving debts estimated at $300 million and plunging FIFA into a financial crisis. The collapse triggered one of Switzerland's biggest criminal fraud cases.
According to the papers, Teixeira, who heads the Brazilian committee organizing the 2014 World Cup, is alleged to have received $9.5 million dollars. Leoz, reportedly got $600,000.
For Teixeira, President of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) since 1989, this is not the first brush with corruption charges. Brazil’s congress extensively investigated corruption in the Brazilian game in 2000 to 2001. The investigation concluded that, “Lack of control, disorganization and bad management reign rife in the CBF. Mr. Ricardo Teixeira, as president, is directly responsible for creating an environment which is ripe for an administrative disaster.”
Léoz has been president of the South American Soccer Confederation (CONMEBOL) since 1986. In 2002, he received FIFA’s Order of Merit. The award honored, “the distinguished career of an exceptional leader who was deeply devoted to the sport of soccer.”
The newspapers say they obtained the same document that the BBC plans to feature in a documentary being aired Monday.
FIFA said it had no comment on the reports.
Bidding procedures to decide the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts are being held at the same time, which has led to a charged atmosphere of finger pointing, accusations of nation’s colluding, and posturing by possible hosts. England was believed to be a favorite for the 2018 games but recently rumors have surfaced that Spain and Portugal will receive more votes. For 2022, the United States is a favorite to host the games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.