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US indictment: FIFA execs were...
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US indictment: FIFA execs were bribed for 2018 and 2022 World Cups

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

22:53 6 Apr 2020

FIFA officials were bribed into awarding the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, alleges a US Justice Department Indictment. 

Both countries were awarded their respective World Cups in December 2010.

According to a newly-published US Justice Department document, evidence has been found that high-ranking FIFA officials were offered and/or received bribes for their votes.

The original subjects of the indictment are former Fox executives Carlos Martinez and Hernan Lopez who are accused of offering kickbacks for the broadcasting rights to the Copa Libertadores.

But the investigation unearthed some other gems.

The indictment states:

Several executive committee members were offered or received bribes in connection with their votes.

For example, the defendant Ricardo Teixeira, Nicolas Leoz and Co-Conspirator# 1 were offered and received bribe payments in exchange for their votes in favor of Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup.

In addition, the defendant Jack Warner was promised and received bribe payments totaling [sic] $5 million and Rafael Salguero was promised a $1 million bribe in exchange for their votes in favor [sic] of Russia to host the 2018 World Cup.

Teixeira is a former Brazilian Football Confederation president who was banned from football for life in 2019 for accepting bribes between 2006 and 2012.

Leoz was a former president of the South American confederation CONMEBOL who died in 2019 at the age of 90. At the time of his death he'd been under house arrest in Paraguay fighting extradition to the United States in connection with this case.

Warner is a former FIFA vice-president who was banned for life from the game in 2015 for committing "many and various acts of misconduct continuously and repeatedly" according to FIFA's ethics committee.

In 2016, Salguero - a former Guatemalan official - who served on FIFA’s executive committee, pled guilty to multiple corruption charges.

The awarding of the World Cups to Russia and Qatar in 2010 caused surprise and much suspicion.

Russia beat bids from England, a joint bid by Spain and Portugal and a joint bid by the Netherlands and Belgium.

While Qatar saw off competition from The United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

The Justice Dept. document adds that "In or about and between November 2010 and April 2011, the defendant Jack Warner received a total of approximately $5 million, via more than two dozen separate wire transfers, to an account he controlled at Republic Bank in Trinidad and Tobago in the name of the CFU."

The findings are likely to raise more questions of Qatar's suitability for hosting next year's World Cup.

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