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FIFA-ISL document will remain secret

  • AP, Friday, March 23, 2012 3:32 PM

The Swiss Federal Tribunal has decided a document that reveals which FIFA officials took kickbacks from marketing agency ISL need not be public while the court studies the case. The court granted a "suspensive effect" to parties identified only as "B2" and "B3" who appealed to stop publication.

Swiss business weekly Handelszeitung and the BBC have reported that the officials are former FIFA President Joao Havelange and his former son-in-law, Ricardo Teixeira. The court said FIFA was party “B1” but withdrew from the case in December.

The document details a May 2010 deal in which two soccer officials admitted taking kickbacks worth millions of dollars in the 1990s. They repaid 5.5 million Swiss francs (then $6.1 million) on condition their identities would remain secret.

Four Swiss media organizations, including Handelszeitung reporter Jean-Francois Tanda, and the BBC have sought access to the document.  The journalists won a ruling in December when a court in Zug decided publication was in the public interest. FIFA President Sepp Blatter has said he cannot fulfill a promise to publish the ISL dossier until the federal verdict is handed down. The former marketing executive was instrumental in the formation of ISL, which allegedly paid tens of millions of dollars to sports officials before it collapsed in 2001 with debts of $300 million. The federal court verdict is expected in several months.

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