Soccer monopolized the headlines this week after reports revealed 9 FIFA officials and 5 corporate executives were indicted for racketeering conspiracy and corruption following an extensive investigation into the organization lead by the U.S. Department of Justice.
After reviewing the 168-page FIFA indictment document detailing all of the charges being brought against FIFA and CONCACAF executives, we found these five facts to be revealing:
1. $110 million in bribes were given to ensure rights to CONCACAF and CONMEBOL TV coverage
After becoming president of CONMEBOL, Eugenio Figueredo became a part of a scheme to give Copa America media rights to Burzaco, Hugo and Mariano Jinkis in exchange for $110 million in bribes. They also secured media rights to future CONCACAF and CONMEBOL tournaments as well.
2. An unnamed sportswear company was involved in bribes
A sportswear company, assumed to be Nike, were to pay CBF $160 million over 10 years for the right to be one of CBF’s co-sponsors and to be CBF’s exclusive footwear, apparel, accessories, and equipment supplier.
That was just the start.
According to the indictment against FIFA executives, “Sportswear Company A agreed to pay a Traffic affiliate with a Swiss bank account an additional $40 million in base compensation on top of the $160 million it was obligated to pay to CBF pursuant to the Agreement. On July 14, 1996, three days after the Agreement was signed, a representative of Sportswear Company A and a representative of Traffic Brazil (Co-Conspirator #2) signed a one-page letter agreement acknowledging as follows:
“CBF has authorized Traffic, or its designated banking agent, to invoice [Sportswear Company A] directly for marketing fees earned upon successful negotiation and performance of the … [Agreement].”
Between 1996 and 1999, Traffic invoiced Sportswear Company A directly for $30 million in payments.
3. A swimming pool was provided to Jeffrey Webb
Costas Takkas, attaché to the CONCACAF president, transferred funds to an account in the name of a swimming pool builder in Georgia for the benefit of CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb, who was having a pool built at his residence in Loganville, Georgia.
4. A briefcase of cash was provided to FIFA executive members in exchange for votes
Former CONCACAF President Jack Warner directed a co-conspirator to fly to Paris and accept a briefcase containing bundles of U.S. currency in $10,000 stacks in a hotel room from another co-conspirator, a high ranking South African bid committee official.
It’s understood that the offer was to be in exchange for the agreement of Jack Warner and two co-conspirators to all vote for South Africa, rather than Morocco, to host the 2010 World Cup.
During the bidding process, members of FIFA took tours of various nations hoping to host the 2010 World Cup and these co-conspirators pledged their bids to Morocco in exchange for $1 million.
5. An expensive painting is given as a gift in exchange for compliance
A conspirator, believed to be CONCACAF General Secretary Enrique Sanz, personally benefitted from Jeremy Webb’s bribe schemes, obtaining an expensive painting from an art gallery in New York that was paid for by Costas Takkas.
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