FIFA files for com­pen­sa­tion in US as vic­tim of cor­rup­tion

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

Global foot­ball body FIFA has ap­plied to US au­thor­i­ties for tens of mil­lions of dol­lars in dam­ages from ex-of­fi­cials in­dicted there for graft and recog­nised for the first time ex­ec­u­tives had in the past "sold" votes in World Cup host­ing con­tests.

Gianni In­fantino, re­cently elected pres­i­dent to clear out the worst cor­rup­tion scan­dal in FIFA his­tory, said the money had been meant for play­ing fields and kit, not of­fi­cials' man­sions and cars and he would get it back "no mat­ter how long it takes".

The Swiss-based body said it had filed a resti­tu­tion re­quest on Tues­day with fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors in New York.

In the doc­u­ment and an ac­com­pa­ny­ing let­ter, it de­manded re­turn of salaries and pay­ment of com­pen­sa­tion for dam­age to its brand, busi­ness in­ter­ests and rep­u­ta­tion.

"The de­fen­dants...deeply tar­nished the FIFA brand and im­paired FIFA's abil­ity to use its re­sources for pos­i­tive ac­tions through­out the world," the doc­u­ment said. The very fu­ture of FIFA has been put in ques­tion by the graft scan­dal, with some de­mand­ing its abo­li­tion.

The move for rec­om­pense casts FIFA for the first time, un­der its new pres­i­dent, promi­nently as plain­tiff and vic­tim.

The FIFA doc­u­ment listed cases of al­leged wrong­do­ing, in­clud­ing the race to host the 2010 World Cup, won by South Africa, al­ready de­tailed by US au­thor­i­ties in De­cem­ber.

It said for­mer ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­bers Jack Warner, who has been banned for life but de­nies wrong­do­ing, Chuck Blazer, who has pleaded guilty to rack­e­teer­ing, wire fraud and money laun­der­ing, along with other in­di­vid­u­als en­gi­neered a $10 mil­lion pay­off in ex­change for ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee votes.

Warner, fight­ing ex­tra­di­tion from Trinidad and Tobago, had ac­cepted a bribe to vote for Morocco in the 1998 World Cup host­ing race, won by France, the re­port said.

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