Daily Mail

FIFA’s £80m legal bill for corruption probe

- Charles Sale

FIFA ARE understood to have run up legal fees of around £80million during the in-house investigat­ions into football corruption and fraud that started after the Zurich raids in May 2015.

The probe was carried out by expensive American lawyers Quinn Emanuel and Swiss counterpar­ts NKF. They announced their reports were completed yesterday. They have been handed over to the Swiss attorney general’s office and also made available to the US Justice Department, with the contents kept secret because of two ongoing criminal investigat­ions into FIFA.

FIFA are expected to publish their financial report for 2016 within the next fortnight in which legal fees will be included. But considerin­g there was a rise of £24m in legal costs in 2015, when the 22-month inquiry had only been running for six months, £80m looks conservati­ve.

A source familiar with FIFA’s investigat­ion tried to justify the massive expense by pointing to the report running to more than 1,300 pages, with 20,000 pieces of evidence and the two legal teams examining more than two and a half million documents.

OLYMPIC rowing champion Katherine Grainger (right) is thought to have been asked to apply for the UK Sport chairman’s role being relinquish­ed by Rod Carr. Grainger would fit with the current vogue to promote women where possible to senior sports positions, but she has some doubts about her suitabilit­y because of a lack of leadership experience.

ARSENAL chairman Sir Chips Keswick is prepared to be more transparen­t in killing a conspiracy theory among Arsenal supporters — that he funded the ‘In Arsene We Trust’ banner flown above The Hawthorns last month — than he is about Wenger’s future. Hong Kong-based Arsenal fans reportedly paid for the pro-Wenger banner, and, bizarrely, it was organised via Keswick’s merchant bank Jardines, based in Hong Kong. But Sir Chips said: ‘ My family are Scottish and we don’t waste our money.’

BRITISH CYCLING, the poster sport for Team GB medal success, is in meltdown amid continued reports of unrest due to the win-at-all-costs regimes in other Olympic sports. So it does not seem the best of times for Chelsea Warr and Simon Timson, current and previous performanc­e directors for UK Sport, to publish their book The Talent Lab — due to launch next month — about the strategies behind the British gold rush.

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