PtG Article 02.06.2006

Timeline FIFA ISL

Knowledge bank: The following timeline traces the main incidents in the complex of cases between ISL and FIFA that have arisen in the wake of the bankruptcy of the sports marketing agency ISL.



 ISL buys the exclusive television rights for the World Cups in 2002 and 2006 at a price of roughly 1,6 billion US$.



 ISL wins a FIFA marketing contract for 2002 and 2006.



 ISL sells a share of the television rights to the Brasilian TV-Globo at a price of 60 million US$ of which approximately 22 million are supposed to be passed on to FIFA.


 FIFA demands in a written letter to ISL senior executive Jean-Marie Weber that ISL hands over FIFA's share of the TV-Globo television rights payment. 


April 23:

 ISL spends 1.2 billion US$ on a ground-breaking 10-year television- and marketing contract with the ATP tennis tour, comprising among other events the nine yearly Masters tournaments.



 FIFA is advised to force ISL to hand over TV-Globo money and makes another approach to ISL. Again without result.


May 21:

 ISL is declared bankrupt. To distance itself from ISL, FIFA then takes action and makes a criminal complaint to authorities in Zug alleging fraud and embezzlement by senior executives at the ISL group in their handling of the TV-Globo money.



 An Internal Audit Committee is set up in FIFA at the request of UEFA president Lennart Johansson to secure the members of the Executive Committee insight and transparency in FIFA’s finances.


 President Sepp Blatter closes down the Audit Committee asserting examples of breach of confidentiality by members of the committee.


 FIFA General Secretary Michel Zen-Ruffinen together with Lennart Johansson and ten other members of the Executive Committee start legal proceedings against president Sepp Blatter based on a 300 pages long indictment alleging misuse of funds and negligent financial management.

Sepp Blatter is re-elected as FIFA president at FIFA congress in Seoul after contested election against Issa Hayatou from Cameroon.

The abovementioned prosecution of president Blatter is withdrawn after his re-election.


 Weber and other ISL executives are arrested for a few days and questioned by Zug Investigating Magistrate Thomas Hildbrand.



 ISL liquidator Thomas Bauer reclaims in a Zug court a repayment of a series of bribes paid from ISL to football officials.



 Swiss lawyer Peter Nobel opens a bank account in Zurich on behalf of ISL’s Jean-Marie Weber for the return of bribes to liquidator Thomas Bauer.


 Without publicity, FIFA withdraws its criminal complaint against ISL directors for embezzling with TV-Globo television money.


 Zug Magistrate Thomas Hildbrand orders Peter Nobel to hand over details of the bank account set up for Weber and the names of the officials who repaid bribes.


 FIFA adopts a new ‘Code of Ethics’ to safeguard FIFA’s image and to ensure officials’ integrity in the discharge of their duties.


 The Zug court orders Peter Nobel to hand over details and documents concerning the repayment of the bribes.


January: Peter Nobel appeals the Zug court ruling to the Swiss Federal Court in Lausanne, still trying to avoid the disclosure of the names, bank records and other details about the bribery repayments.


 In spite of the fact that FIFA has withdrawn its criminal complaints against the former ISL directors, Magistrate Hildbrand indicts Jean-Marie Weber and other ISL executives for allegedly embezzling TV-Globo money in the peculiar affair between FIFA and ISL.


 The Swiss Federal Court upholds Nobel’s appeal that he does not need to hand over documents relating to bribes to Magistrate Hildbrand. However, the judgement discloses how bribes were repaid to liquidator Thomas Bauer.


 FIFA sets up a special task force ‘For the Good of the Game’ to face the challenges facing the international world of football.


 Magistrate Hildbrand launches a new ISL-related investigation and raids FIFA’s headquarters seeking conclusive evidence.



 English journalist Andrew Jennings publish the book Foul! where he more than intimates that bribery and corruption are everyday occurrences in FIFA’s organisation.

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