FIFA Completes Its Corruption Investigation
March 31, 2017
(WFI) The result of FIFA’s own 22-month investigation into a corruption and bribery scandal that threatened to bring down world football’s governing body is in the hands of Swiss authorities.
FIFA says that more than 2.5 million documents were reviewed and numerous key witnesses were interviewed by FIFA’s external counsel. The findings produced more than 1,300 pages of reports and include more than 20,000 pages of exhibits.
The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has the reports and has agreed to make them available to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).
None of the information will be made available to the public, at least for now. FIFA says it is legally restricted from releasing or commenting on the findings because the criminal investigations by the OAG and DOJ are ongoing.
“FIFA committed to conducting a thorough and comprehensive investigation of the facts so we could hold wrongdoers within football accountable and cooperate with the authorities,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino in a statement.
“We have now completed that investigation and handed the evidence over to the authorities, who will continue to pursue those who enriched themselves and abused their positions of trust in football. FIFA will now return its focus to the game, for fans and players throughout the world.”
FIFA’s investigation began shortly after the high-profile arrests of FIFA officials on the eve of the FIFA Congress in May 2015 as part of a wide-ranging investigation by the DOJ into corruption related to broadcast contracts and sponsorships involving North, South and Central American football.
Swiss authorities later launched their own investigation into FIFA's activities and these and other inquiries have claimed a number of the biggest names in football, including former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and his right-hand man Jerome Valcke, the ex-FIFA general secretary.
Other high-profile football officials brought down by various scandals are former UEFA boss Michel Platini and ex-CONCACAF bosses Chuck Blazer, Jack Warner and Jeffrey Webb.
By INSIDER Gerard Farek
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