After Indicting 14, U.S. Vows to End Graft in FIFA

By Augustine A.

AG Loretta announcing
AG Loretta announcing

With billions of dollars at stake, Morocco, Egypt and South Africa jockeyed in 2004 for the privilege of hosting soccer’s most prestigious tournament, the World Cup. The outcome hinged on a decision by the executive committee of FIFA, soccer’s governing body, and a single vote could tip the decision.

And at least one vote, prosecutors said Wednesday, was for sale.

Jack Warner, a committee member from Trinidad and Tobago, shopped his ballot to the highest bidder, federal prosecutors said. In early 2004, he flew to Morocco, where a member of that country’s bid committee offered him $1 million. But South Africa had a sweeter deal, offering
$10 million to a group that Mr. Warner controlled, prosecutors said. He voted for South Africa. South Africa got the 2010 World Cup. And Mr. Warner got his
$10 million payout, much of which prosecutors said he diverted for his personal use.

FIFA

FIFA President Sepp Blatter gestures as he attends a news conference after a meeting of the FIFA executive committee in Zurich in this September 26, 2014 file picture. Swiss authorities have opened criminal proceedings against individuals on suspicion of mismanagement and money laundering related to the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA soccer World Cups in Russia and Qatar.  Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann/Files
FIFA President Sepp Blatter gestures as he attends a news conference after a meeting of the FIFA executive committee in Zurich in this September 26, 2014 file picture.
Jack Warner an official among the indicted
Jack Warner an official among the indicted

For decades, that was how business was done in international soccer, American officials said Wednesday as they announced a sweeping indictment against 14 soccer officials and marketing executives who they said had corrupted the sport through two decades of shadowy dealing and $150 million in bribes. Authorities described international soccer in terms normally reserved for Mafia families or drug cartels, and brought charges under racketeering laws usually applied to such criminal organizations

officials speaking on Graft in FIFA

Advertisements