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FIFA admits bribery cases in election of 1998 and 2010 World Cup hosts

March 16, 14:57 UTC+3
FIFA submitted documents with the US authorities in an effort to reclaim tens of millions of dollars, illegally pocketed by 41 organization’s corrupt executives and other football officials
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GENEVA, March 16. /TASS/. FIFA has officially acknowledged the facts of bribery during the election of the host countries for the 1998 and 2010 World Cups, held in France and South Africa respectively.

The facts of bribery were stated by the world’s governing body of football in its 21-page letter it sent to the United States authorities as part of the major corruption case involving FIFA officials. FIFA announced that it submitted documents with the authorities of the United States in an effort to reclaim tens of millions of dollars, illegally pocketed by 41 organization’s corrupt executives and other football officials.

Among the former corrupt officials are Jack Warner (former FIFA vice president and executive committee member, CONCACAF president, CFU president and Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) special adviser), Chuck Blazer (a FIFA Executive Committee member from 1996 to 2013 and the CONCACAF General Secretary between 1990 and 2011) and Warner’s son Daryan.

FIFA states in its letter to the US authorities that Jack Warner, Chuck Blazer and Warner’s son Daryan engineered a financial scheme in exchange for FIFA Executive Committee’s votes in election of the 1998 and 2010 World Cup hosts.

"The scheme built off Defendant Warner’s corrupt vote in 1992 for Morocco to host the 1998 FIFA World Cup, when he accepted a bribe from the Moroccan bid committee in exchange for his vote for Morocco," the FIFA letter said. "Twelve years later, the Morocco bid committee once again offered Defendant Warner and Charles Blazer (who now also had a vote as an Executive Committee member) a bribe, this time of $1 million."

"Ultimately, given Defendant Warner’s strong illicit ties to the South African bid committee, the South Africans offered a more attractive bribe of $10 million in exchange for Warner’s, Blazer’s, and a third Executive Committee member’s votes," the letter said. "Warner and his coconspirators lied to FIFA about the nature of the payment, disguising it as support for the benefit of the "African Diaspora" in the Caribbean region, when in reality it was a bribe."

"They disguised and funneled the bribe money through the financial accounts of FIFA, member associations, and the 2010 FIFA World Cup local organizing committee," the letter said. "They breached the fundamental duties they owed to FIFA, CFU, and CONCACAF and stole $10 million."

FIFA former executive Koloskov says was never offered bribes in 1998, 2010 World Cup bids

Vyacheslav Koloskov, a former member of the FIFA Executive Committee, told TASS on Wednesday that he was never offered bribes during the election of the host countries for the 1998 and 2010 World Cups.

"This is striking news," Koloskov said in an interview with TASS. "I was a member of the Executive Committee and should have felt that something wrong was going on. No one ever approached me offering bribes, no one attempted to exert pressure on me and so on."

"I do remember very well that France was competing with Morocco for the right to host the [1998] World Cup and the former was the favorite in the race," Koloskov said. "As for South Africa, I believe it was even stated in the [FIFA] Charter that the World Cup must be held in Africa."

"I can hardly believe that someone tried to bribe somebody else and that some of the members of the Executive Committee could have agreed to do it," Koloskov added.

A chain of corruption scandals rocked FIFA throughout last year. Everything flared up with an unprecedented scandal on the morning of May 27, 2015, one day before the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich, where seven of the organization’s high-ranking officials were arrested in Switzerland on bribery, money laundering and corruption charges.

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