[ZURICH COUNTDOWN] The World Cup 2018/22 races were thrown into more confusion on Monday with various media sources linking three key FIFA executive committee members who will vote on Thursday to payoffs from ISL, the international sports agency, before its collapse in 2001.
Ricardo Teixeira (former FIFA president Joao Havelange's former son-in-law and the boss of Brazilian soccer), Paraguayan Nicolas Leoz (president of the South American soccer confederation Conmebol) and CameroonianIssa Hayatou (president of the African soccer confederation) were the three named in reports in Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, German paper Sueddeutsche Zeitung and on the BBC's "Panorama" show.
The three media outlets said they obtained a secret ISL document listing the names and payments totaling more than $100 million between 1989 and 1999 to sports officials around the world.
Panorama reported that a Liechtenstein holding company Sanud to which Teixeira has been linked received 21 payments totaling $9.5 million
Leoz's name is no surprise. He was previously named by a Swiss court as receiving two ISL payments totaling $130,000 and is alleged to have received three other payments of $200,000 each.
It is also reported that Hayatou's name appears next to a cash payment of 100,000 French Francs (about $16,000) in 1995.
ISL, FIFA's longtime marketing arm, and its parent company ISMM went bankrupt in 2001, leaving debts estimated at $300 million and triggering a well-publicized criminal fraud case that international sports observers followed closely to get an inside look at the once-powerful ISL sports agency.
FIFA took its marketing business in house but not before the crisis almost cost FIFA President Sepp Blatter his re-election in a race against Hayatou in 2002.
The Swiss court closed the ISL case in June and FIFA issued a statement: "It is important to recall that the decision was made on matters which took place prior to the year 2000 and that there has been no court conviction against FIFA," the statement said. "In addition, the FIFA president has been cleared of any wrongdoing in this matter."
Bribery was not a crime at the time in Switzerland.
The revelations follow October's release of the Sunday Times undercover investigation into the 2018/22 bidding process -- an investigation that ultimately resulted in the suspension of two FIFA executive committee members, Nigerian Amos Adamu (suspended for three years) and Tahitian Reynald Temarii (suspended for one year for breach of FIFA's confidentiality rules).