Officials Raid FIFA Headquarters and Find Corruption. Yes, Again.
15 Jun, 2016By: Mary Helen Sprecher
Almost exactly a year ago, authorities conducted a raid in Switzerland and began the process of peeling back the layers of FIFA corruption.
Guess what? It's happening all over again. On Friday, June 3, another raid was conducted on FIFA headquarters. According to an article in Inside The Games, banned former FIFA President Sepp Blatter and sacked duo Jérôme Valcke and Markus Kattner awarded themselves bonuses and pay rises totaling $80 million over a five-year period.
And that, according to FIFA's lawyers Quinn Emanuel, “warrants considerable investigation,” considering some of the contracted payments are in breach of Swiss law.
Evidence has been handed over to Swiss and American prosecutors.
“In total, the new documents and evidence appear to reveal a coordinated effort by three former top officials of FIFA to enrich themselves through annual salary increases, World Cup bonuses, as well as undue severance payments,” a statement read.
In response, a statement from Blatter's lawyer Richard Cullen said: “We look forward to showing FIFA that Mr. Blatter's compensation payments were proper, fair and in line with the heads of major professional sports leagues around the world.”
As part of the search, conducted by the The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) of Switzerland, documents and files were seized.
The probe by Swiss prosecutors began in May and centered around the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.
The man at the top of all this, Gianni Infantino, may be regretting his recent election as FIFA President. According to the article, FIFA officials have been forced to deny reports in German newspaper Die Welt that the new leader is facing a 90-day ban for allegedly ordering the deletion of a recording of a FIFA Council meeting at the Congress in Mexico City last month.
A series of emails leaked to the publication purported to show Infantino had asked the document to be destroyed.
In a statement, FIFA claim "the deletion of audio files refers to a copy of the original audio file of the meeting that was improperly stored on a local drive".
"This mention does not refer to the officially archived audio file," FIFA spokesperson Delia Fischer added. "That file exists and is properly saved at FIFA."
In other news, Inside The Games notes Infantino also r”eportedly dismissed a salary offer of $2 million per year as ‘insulting,’ painting another poor picture of the man tasked with restoring the reputation of the beleaguered organization.”
Even without a World Cup this summer, it looks like there will be plenty to watch.