Havelange collected bribes as FIFA president

by Isi Esene

Swiss prosecutors have revealed that Joao Havelange, the former FIFA president had received at least 1.5m Swiss francs (£986,000) and executive committee member Ricardo Teixeira at least 12.74m SFr (£8.4m).

The report states: “The finding that FiFA had knowledge of the bribery payments to persons within its organs is not questioned.

“This is firstly because various members of the executive committee had received money, and furthermore, among other things, it was confirmed by the former chief financial officer of FIFA as a witness that a certain payment made to Joao Havelange”.

There is a character in the report referred to as P1 whose identity was not revealed. Only two officials were named in the report. But it however states that P1 and Havelange had signed the marketing agreement with ISL on behalf of FIFA in 1997. It is known that the agreement was signed by Havelange, who was president, and Blatter who was then general secretary.

Switzerland’s Supreme Court ordered the release of the documents identifying which senior officials took millions of dollars in payments from ISL, FIFA’s marketing partner until it collapsed into bankruptcy in 2001.

The papers were released to a few media organisations, one of which is the Guardian UK (click to see report), and detail the court settlement which closed a criminal probe of the ISL case in May 2010.

Havelange was FIFA president for 24 years before being succeeded by Blatter in 1998. The 96-year-old Brazilian, who remains the organisation’s honorary president, has been treated extensively in a Rio de Janeiro hospital this year for septic arthritis.

Teixeira, Havelange’s former son-in-law, this year resigned as head of Brazil’s football federation and the 2014 World Cup organising committee, and gave up his FIFA executive committee seat, also citing unspecified health and personal reasons.

A FIFA statement said: “This decision by the Federal Court is in line with what FIFA and the FIFA president have been advocating since 2011, when world football’s governing body announced its commitment to the publication of the ISL non-prosecution order.”

It described the disclosure as part of its reforms launched at the FIFA Congress in 2011.

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