Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Havelange falls in bribery scandal
by Paul Kennedy, May 1st, 2013 12:33AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[FIFA] It was not a good day for FIFA.

Its former president, 96-year-old Joao Havelange, was forced to resign his position as honorary president after a FIFA ethics committee report confirmed what had been suspected for years -- Havelange, his former son-in-law, Brazilian Ricardo Teixeira, and former South American confederation president Nicolas Leoz had taken millions of dollars in bribes from defunct marketing agency ISL.

(Click here for full report of Hans-Joachim Eckert, chairman of the FIFA Adjudicatory Chamber, on the ISL case.)

The report described "not inconsiderable amounts" being channeled to Havelange, Teixeira and Leoz via front companies and described as “commissions,” known today as “bribes” (Eckert's words) over an eight-year period (1992-2000).

The ISL payoffs were so blatant that one $1 million payment intended for Havelange mistakenly went to a FIFA account.

When Sepp Blatter, then the organization's general secretary and now its embattled president, found out about it, he had the money returned to ISL. Blatter went to great lengths Tuesday to say he had been cleared in the affair, saying "conduct could not be classified in any way as misconduct with regard to any ethics rules."

The worst the report could say was that Blatter acted "clumsily." While there has been no evidence of Blatter taking any bribes, few believed he could have been blind to what was commonplace in the 1990s: massive bribes being handed out as ISL tried to keep FIFA members happy as revenues for televison rights fees and other commercial properties exploded.

Unbelievably, Havelange, Teixeira and Leoz couldn't have been charged with crimes since the acceptance of bribe money was not punishable under Swiss criminal law at that time. As far as ethics go, FIFA didn't even have a code of ethics until 2004.

Havelange retired as FIFA president in 1998, leading to Blatter's election as president in a campaign that produced charges of widespread bribery.

Teixeira quit the FIFA executive committee and his posts as president of the Brazilian soccer federation and World Cup 2014 organizing committee in March 2012, while Leoz only quit last week as a member of the FIFA executive committee and president of Conmebol.

In a separate matter relating to undetermined misdeeds, FIFA Adjudicatory Chamber closed its file on Vernon Manilal Fernando of Sri Lanka, who was banned from soccer for eight years.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying    
"We can't do the work of FIFA and UEFA. We hope that in the near future ...
Manchester United and Liverpool in driver's seats    
[INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES] Group play in the Guinness International Champions Cup concludes Saturday with four games. Manchester ...
Dayton head coach van Druenen steps down    
[USL PRO: Week 20] Sid van Druenen has resigned as head coach of the Dayton Dutch ...
Kansas City aims to join Seattle in playoffs    
[NWSL: Week 17] FC Kansas City will look to join the regular-season champion Seattle Reign FC ...
U.S. under-23 men's national team roster    
[BAHAMAS CAMP] The U.S. under-23 men's national team roster will hold a five-day camp, beginning Sunday, ...
Revs' Fagundez gets Uruguay U-20 call-up    
[MLS: Friday] The New England Revolution announced that 19-year-old midfielder Diego Fagundez has been called into ...
Our All-Star Game guide: 11 things to do in Portland    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] There's lots happening around Wednesday's AT&T MLS ALL-Star Game in Portland with an NWSL ...
U.S. attendance records, from Hakoah to Olympics    
[CROWD COUNT] A crowd of 109,000 is expected Saturday at the Big House, home of University ...
What They're Saying: James Rodriguez    
"I'm here just as another player. There are many stars; I'll try to help out." -- ...
2014 NPSL All-League Team    
[AWARDS] Two players each from the NPSL finalists New York Red Bulls U-23s (Victor Manosalvas and ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives