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FIFA Seeks To Claim Money From Corrupt Officials

Wed 16th Mar 2016 | FIFA

FIFA will seek to claim back money illegally pocketed by corrupt officials totalling tens of millions of dollars.

Following the submission of documents to US authorities as a “victimised institution,”[1] FIFA has submitted a Request for Restitution[2] to the US Attorney’s Office and the US Probation Office for the Eastern District of New York, claiming damages from 41 former officials of FIFA and other football organisations, including Chuck Blazer, Jack Warner, Jeffrey Webb and others who have been indicted in the ongoing investigation by the US Department of Justice.

“The convicted defendants abused the positions of trust they held at FIFA and other international football organisations and caused serious and lasting damage to FIFA, its member associations and the football community,” said the newly elected FIFA President, Gianni Infantino.

“The monies they pocketed belonged to global football and were meant for the development and promotion of the game. FIFA as the world governing body of football wants that money back and we are determined to get it no matter how long it takes.”

FIFA estimates that at a minimum tens of millions of dollars were diverted from the football community illegally through bribery, kickbacks and corrupt schemes carried out by the defendants.

This amount is likely to increase as the investigation continues. The US government has already announced forfeiture amounts that should cover FIFA’s claims for damages.  

As well as seeking restitution for the money the defendants pocketed to enrich themselves, FIFA will also seek salaries, benefits and bonuses that were paid along with compensation from the defendants for the damage their actions caused to FIFA’s brand and reputation, its intellectual property and its business relationships.

“The defendants diverted this money not just from FIFA but from players, coaches and fans worldwide who benefit from the programmes that FIFA runs to develop and promote football,” added Infantino.

“These dollars were meant to build football fields, not mansions and pools; to buy football kits, not jewellery and cars; and to fund youth player and coach development, not to underwrite lavish lifestyles for football and sports marketing executives.

“When FIFA recovers this money, it will be directed back to its original purpose: for the benefit and development of international football.”

  
[1] US Department of Justice, Superseding Indictment, 25 November 2015, p. 39.

[2] FIFA is entitled to restitution under the Mandatory Restitution to Victims Act, 18 U.S.C. 3663A et seq. 

Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

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