FIFA once again finds itself embroiled in bribery allegations over the hosting of the Qatar 2022 World Cup and Russia 2018 World Cup according to the indictment sent to a US District Court.
The indictment claims that various officials were paid hefty bribes to vote in favour of Qatar and Russia hosting the World Cup events.
Fox network is also sited as having gained the broadcasting rights to both the 2018 Russia World Cup and Qatar 2022 World Cup through as a result of various illegal acts ranging from bribery to corruption.
A statement from the US District Attorney’s office read:
“Lopez and Martinez also relied on loyalty secured through the payment of bribes to certain CONMEBOL officials to advance the business interests of Fox, including to obtain confidential bidding information for the rights to broadcast the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments in the United States, rights that Fox successfully obtained,”
The federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has been looking into the corruptions allegations stemming form the2018 World Cup with New York assistant director William F Sweeney stating:
“The profiteering and bribery in international soccer have been deep-seated and commonly known practices for decades,”
“The profiteering and bribery in international soccer have been deep-seated and commonly known practices for decades,” William F Sweeney, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York field office, said in a statement issued by the office of the US Attorney in the Eastern District of New York.”
“Over a period of many years, the defendants and their co-conspirators corrupted the governance and business of international soccer with bribes and kickbacks, and engaged in criminal fraudulent schemes that caused significant harm to the sport of soccer.”
“Their schemes included the use of shell companies, sham consulting contracts and other concealment methods to disguise the bribes and kickback payments and make them appear legitimate.”
The indictment alleges that Jack warner who was at the time president of CONCACAF received a bribe of US$5 million to vote in favour of Russia’s bid to host the 2018 FIFA Wolrd Cup along with Guatemala federation president Rafael Salguero who was offered US$1 million for his vote.
A total of 53 counts have been laid before the US District Court which have been investigated by the FBI.