FIFA’s former president and Brazil’s one-time football leader pocketed millions of dollars in a World Cup kickbacks scandal, football’s world governing body has said.
Joao Havelange and Ricardo Teixeira received $1m and $13m respectively, according to a 41-page dossier published on Wednesday by FIFA. It said Teixeira, who headed the Brazilian Football Confederation for 23 years until March, received the money from 1992-97 in payments from World Cup marketing partner ISL.
The Swiss-based agency’s collapse into bankruptcy in 2001 sparked a criminal probe and exposed the routine practice of buying influence from senior sports officials. The dossier showed Havelange, who is also Brazilian, took his kickback in 1997, one year before he was succeeded as FIFA president by Sepp Blatter.
Payments “attributed” to accounts connected to the two men totalled almost $22m from 1992-2000. FIFA released the dossier, blocked from publication since June 2010,hours after Switzerland’s Supreme Court threw out an appeal by Havelange and Teixeira to suppress the document.
The scale of kickbacks tied to World Cup broadcasting and marketing deals was revealed in a report by a prosecutor in the Swiss canton (state) of Zug who investigated Havelange and Teixeira for “embezzlement, or alternatively disloyal management”.
FIFA, Havelange and Teixeira repaid $6.1m to end prosecutor Thomas Hildbrand’s probe on condition that their identities remain secret. Teixeira, who repaid $2.5m, denied criminal conduct while Havelange, who paid $500,000,”did not comment on the accusation of criminal conduct”, the dossier said.
Havelange and his former son-in-law Teixeira “unlawfully used assets entrusted to (them) for (their) own enrichment several times. FIFA suffered an equivalent loss. After helping broker the anonymity deal, FIFA was also a party to earlier appeals to block publication until dropping out of the case last December.
Calls on Wednesday to the Brazilian Football Confederation went unanswered.