PtG Article 02.11.2011

Sums of bribes for top FIFA officials exposed at hearing in Brazil

Within the last month, investigative journalist Andrew Jennings has obtained documents that show the names of sports officials who received a total of 175 secret payments in bribes from the now defunct ISL sports marketing company. Among the names are some senior FIFA officials.

Jennings introduced the documents in a hearing held last week by the Senate Education, Culture and Sports Committee in Brazil. The whole presentation including excerpts from the documents, pictures and video clips from Jennings' television programmes about FIFA corruption has later been  published in English on the blog of another investigative sports journalist, Jens Weinreich.

In the presentation to the senate committee, Jennings used the documents to show how much money the ISL had paid to three top FIFA officials, namely FIFA Vice President Issa Hayatou and executive committee members Nicolas Leoz and Ricard Teixeira.

According to Jennings, the list showed that the ISL had paid Issa Hayatou bribes to the tune of 100,000 French Francs. The list also showed that Nicolas Leoz from Paraguay had received a lot more money than the amount that was mentioned when the case went to court in Switzerland in 2008.

"Thanks to this secret list of payments, we've obtained, never revealed in open court, we can see that Mr. Leoz got a great deal more," Jennings told the Senate Committee.

The list showed that in addition to the previously known amount of 130,000 US dollars, Leoz had received another three payments totalling 600,000 US dollars.

Jennings has earlier found out that Ricardo Teixeira had received  a total of 9.5 million US dollars through a company called SANUD. The list, Jennings recently obtained showed that the money from SANUD came from the ISL.

Appoint clean people for World Cup

Jennings had been invited by the senate committee to present his evidence of fraud and mismanagement at FIFA. But in addition to the evidence, Jennings also advised the Brasilians to take responsibility for the preparations for the 2014 World Cup away from senior FIFA officials, including Ricardo Teixeira, head of Brazil’s football confederation and the nation’s front man for World Cup preparations.

“It is in the best interests of your country to get these people out and appoint honest bureaucrats and clean people to run the World Cup,” he said according to the Irish Times.

To keep Teixeira onboard will invite inevitable scandal before the World Cup, Jennings argued in his presentation to the senate committee.

Jennings expects that within the next 12 months, the public prosecutor from the court in Zug in Switzerland will publish a report that will show the names of members from FIFA's Executive Committe who agreed to pay 5.5 million Swiss Francs to close an investigation into allegations of kickbacks from marketing contracts.

"Who were the accused? They are Blatter, Teixeira and Havelange. They have paid a small fortune to have their names kept secret. Our laywers say it is inevitable that the Swiss Supreme court will order disclosure in the public interest. Then you will have a massive international scandal hanging over your world cup. Two Brazilians and President Blatter," Jennings concluded his presentation.

Read the whole presentation on Jens Weinreich's blog.

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