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Germans call for action on FIFA bribery claims

The Local · 15 Jul 2012, 09:49

Published: 15 Jul 2012 09:49 GMT+02:00

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DFB chairman Wolfgang Niersbach said he was "shocked" at Blatter's comments, adding that the DFB would distance itself from them.

Court documents released in Switzerland revealed that Brazilian Havelange, 96, who was FIFA president for 24 years, before Blatter stepped into the hotseat in 1998, pocketed at least 1.5 million Swiss francs (€1.25 million) and FIFA executive committee member Ricardo Teixeira at least 12.74 million. (€10.6 million).

The bribes, made by International Sport and Leisure (ISL), were detailed in documents made public by Switzerland's supreme court and published by the BBC on Wednesday.

FIFA's discredited Swiss-based marketing partner collapsed in 2001 with debts of around $300 million.

Blatter insisted on Thursday he was powerless to sanction his predecessor and added that such payments were not illegal under Swiss law at the time.

"The reaction of the president of FIFA shocked me. If FIFA people, and not the lowest among them, received money and the response is that that this was not illegal at the time then we at the DFB can only distance ourselves," Niersbach said on the sidelines of a meeting of Bundesliga referees.

Responding to comments from Bundesliga chairman Reinhard Rauball, who wants Blatter to resign, Nirsbach said, "That is a decision for him."

FIFA published the Swiss court's report on its website on Wednesday and in a statement world football's governing body emphasised that while Havelange and Teixeira were identified Blatter was not.

"The decision of the Swiss Federal Court also confirms that only two foreign officials will be named as part of the process and that.....the FIFA president is not involved in the case," the statement stressed.

The court documents did reveal that FIFA chiefs knew that Havelange and Teixeira had been paid bribes by ISL.

It also disclosed that FIFA had agreed to pay 2.5 million Swiss francs (€2.01 million) in compensation - but only on the condition that criminal proceedings against Havelange and Teixeira were dropped.

Havelange, who remains FIFA's honorary president, stepped down after a 48-year-spell as a member of the International Olympic Committee last December just days before the start of an ethics hearing into his links with ISL.

Story continues below…

He was instrumental in bringing the Olympics to Rio de Janeiro and to South America for the first time when in 2009 the IOC elected the city as the 2016 host.

At the vote in Copenhagen he famously invited IOC members to his 100th birthday party on Copacabana beach in 2016 should they award the Games to Rio.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:51 July 15, 2012 by cheeba
What would Blatter's resignation accomplish.? he should resign because his 96 year old predecessor accepted payments that were legal at the time? This punishment fetiisch in Europe has gone amok, for whatever reason they love punishing old people for acts that were committed a very long time ago, not easy to understand how justice is served by retroactively criminalizing conduct. To refer to perfectly legal payments as bribes is itself defamatory.
14:23 July 15, 2012 by Englishted
The whole top table of F.I.F.A. is and has been for along time corrupt ,just look at where they are giving tournaments to and the fiasco of Qatar in the summer.

About time Germany woke up to them ,but the only way forward is to move FIFA and UEFA out of Switzerland into a country with open financial rules so people can see what is going on and how widespread the corruption is.


Strange but many people in Europe dislike bribery and corruption, age and distance from the crime is no defense if they are "legal payments" defend yourselves in court or go to court for defamation of character as if they have the balls.
15:22 July 15, 2012 by cheeba
How can one defend oneself in court if the payments were legal, so no Legal charges are laid to defend against? What Greman fussball officials seem to be asking is that Blatter's contrive some extra legal mechanism to punish his predecessor , or even resign himself because his predecessor took payments.
17:38 July 15, 2012 by Englishted

Why did they pay 2.5 million Swiss francs (€2.01 million) in compensation ,and

insist that criminal proceedings against Havelange and Teixeira were dropped.

If they were not illegal ?, what German officials and people outside the inner circle of FIFA want is a fair and independent investigation into the bribe and corruption "allegations" and that investigation conducted outside of the Swiss system of secrecy .

Too much to ask?
19:12 July 15, 2012 by cheeba
Doesn't sound much different from the time Herr Kohl paid hundreds of thousands in compensation to see criminal investigation ended in his own case right here using the "transparent" German legal system.
16:21 July 16, 2012 by Englishted

I agree and don't forget Herr cut and paste ,but just because it goes on does not make it correct or just.

I don't remember a case of people paying compensation (bribe) to stop a investigation in the U.K. but please correct me if I'm wrong.
17:38 July 16, 2012 by cheeba

I also do not remember any case of people in the U.K. paying to end investigations.

That said, it is not English sports officials howling for Blatter's head on a platter, it is German ones.

For that matter I also do not recall any stories of U.K. officials paying mafias millions in bribes for confidential stolen bank data.
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