PtG Article 17.03.2016

FIFA lodges claim for bribe money to be repaid

FIFA has submitted a claim to US authorities seeking compensation for the millions of dollars that corrupt FIFA officials have illegally pocketed.

Referring to its statute as “victimized institution”, FIFA on Wednesday announced that it has submitted a ‘Victim statement and Request for Restitution’ to the US Attorney’s Office and the US Probation Office for the Eastern District of New York.

Basing the request on the indictments that the US Attorney’s Office has filed against named FIFA officials, FIFA seeks to be compensated for the financial losses that the football organisation has suffered because of “bribery, kickbacks and corrupt schemes carried out by the defendants”, said a FIFA statement.

“The monies they pocketed belonged to global football. These dollars were meant to build football fields, not mansions and pools; to buy football kits, not jewellery and cars; and to fund youth player and coach development, not to underwrite lavish lifestyles for football and sports marketing executives,” newly elected FIFA president Gianni Infantino stated in the press release and promised that if regained, the money will be diverted back into football.

“When FIFA recovers this money, it will be directed back to its original purpose: for the benefit and development of international football,” he said.

According to FIFA’s request, the defendants in the indictments that currently count 42 individuals and entities, have “grossly abused their positions of trust to enrich themselves”, and their actions have “deeply tarnished the FIFA brand”.

FIFA is claiming not only the money identified as bribes and kickback to be repaid but is also seeking compensation for salaries, bonuses and benefits paid to the defendants as well as FIFA’s expenditures on attorney fees related to the investigation and prosecution of the crimes connected to the defendants.

The final amount has not yet been determined as damages are still being investigated, but amounts noted in the request submitted reaches almost $40 million excluding legal fees and other bribe and kickback cases yet to be investigated.

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