FBI probes Sepp Blatter in $100 mn bribery scandal
FBI is investigating the role of Sepp Blatter in a $100mn bribery scandal. Sports marketing company ISL was found to have paid a total of $100mn in bribes to officials including former FIFA president Joao Havelange and ex-FIFA executive Ricardo Teixeira. In return, ISL was granted lucrative television and marketing rights throughout the 1990s. Blatter denied knowledge of the bribes and took no action.
Corruption enquiry gets linked to Blatter
American prosecutors arrested 7 FIFA officials in Zürich on charges of "accepting bribes, money laundering and tax evasion." Sepp Blatter (FIFA President) was linked to the case involving the sale of votes within the FIFA administration for the 2010 South Africa World Cup. He was also under doubt for the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.
Blatter resigns as FIFA President
On 30 May 2015, Blatter won a 5th consecutive term as FIFA's President after beating his opponent, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan. Due to the mounting criticism and corruption scandal, FIFA's president Sepp Blatter resigned on 3 June. However, he would continue as interim President till the next stepped-in. Blatter's resignation raised suspicion of his alleged involvement in various scams within FIFA.
2026 World Cup bidding postponed
The 2026 World Cup bidding process was postponed due to corruption allegations around the 2018 and 2022 tournaments bids. Jerome Valcke, the FIFA secretary general said it was "a nonsense" to start the process in the prevailing climate. The vote to decide the host for the 2026 World Cup was expected to take place in Kuala Lumpur.
FIFA Vice-President uses Caribbean legacy funds
A BBC investigation highlighted that $10 million was sent from FIFA to accounts in control of the Vice-President Jack Warner. The money was sent on account of South Africa, which was designated to be used for the Caribbean diaspora legacy programme. However, documents implied that Warner had used the "payment for cash withdrawals, personal loans and to launder money."
$10 million bribe for Jack Warner
A US indictment later highlighted that the $10 million from S. Africa was a bribe to Jack Warner‚ in exchange for votes in favour of South Africa hosting the 2010 tournament. They argued that none of this could have happened without Blatter's approval.
Television rights deal comes to haunt Blatter
Swiss media claimed that Sepp Blatter had given off 2010 and 2014 World Cup television rights to discredited former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner at surprisingly low prices. SRF, the Swiss television channel affirmed that Blatter had sold off the screening rights for $600,000 ($250,000 for 2010 and $350,000 for 2014) which was merely 5% of their genuine market value.
Sepp Blatter under 'criminal proceedings'
FIFA's former President, Sepp Blatter is being questioned by officials serving the Swiss Attorney General. The 'criminal proceedings' will look into the £1.35 million paid to UEFA President Platini in February 2011. It was further declared that the investigation is based "on suspicion of criminal mismanagement as well as – alternatively – on suspicion of misappropriation" on Blatter's part.
Blatter and Platini deny wrongdoing
UEFA president Michel Platini and Blatter insisted that the payment of £1.35 million made by Blatter in 2011 was the outstanding remuneration due to Platini "for legitimate work conducted by Platini for the world governing body nine years earlier from 1998 to 2002." However, the Swiss investigators that the 9-year gap between work and the payment needs to be explained by the two men.
Blatter to continue as FIFA interim President
Sepp Blatter said that he would not be stepping down as FIFA's interim president because of the criminal proceedings opened against him by Swiss investigators. Blatter has been accused of signing 'unfavourable' contracts and making disloyal payments to UEFA president Michel Platini. However, Blatter has denied any wrongdoing saying he "had done nothing illegal or improper" and the payments to Platini were 'valid compensation'.
Sepp Blatter gets 90 days suspension
Fifa's ethics committee suspended SeppBlatter for 90 days along with the man who hoped to succeed him, Michel Platini amid a corruption investigation by the Swiss authorities.
Joao Havelange says Blatter knew of the bribes
In letter obtained by the FBI, former Fifa president Joao Havelange, involved in receiving bribes from ISL, reportedly wrote, "Mr Blatter had full knowledge of all activities," and was "always apprised to them" (in reference to the ISL payments).