Following the publication in the English press of corruption allegations concerning two members of the FIFA Executive Committee, the flood of revelations does not dry up. It appears that it is not two but several members of the Executive Committee who may have indulged in questionable behavior, including irregularities in relation with the granting by FIFA of marketing and retransmission rights.
These allegations are not proven. However the description of the modus operandi is only too familiar to those engaged in fighting corruption. Fictitious contracts providing for substantial payments without any identifiable consideration; corporations, foundations or establishments in tax havens, without no offices or staff, and the only tangible reality of which resides in a few binders in the office of an obliging intermediary.
FIFA's integrity and credibility, already shaken in the past, have been badly tarnished and the reputational damage suffered by FIFA these last weeks is considerable. It threatens to extend to other sports associations and to the whole of Switzerland which is their home and whose citizens often have key positions in them.
Faced with this situation, the Swiss chapter of Transparency International, the global civil society organization fighting corruption, believes that the following measures must be taken:
- The awarding of the 2018 and 2022 football World Cup, foreseen to take place on 2 December 2010, must be postponed until all light has been shed on the allegations published in the press; these have cast such discredit on FIFA's processes that a decision under these circumstances would only fan the controversy:
- An investigation must be conducted by an independent body in order to establish the facts; FIFA's Ethics Committee does not seem to present the required degree of independence; furthermore, the body conducting the investigation must have extensive investigative powers in order to be able to establish the whole truth;
- The legal status of associations, including sports associations based in Switzerland must be clarified; it is indeed not clear to what extent these associations are subject to the Swiss law provisions on corruption; it must be clarified that they may be prosecuted in Switzerland for acts of corruption in relation with their activity without limitation; the legislative changes and the international conventions which may be needed in this respect must be initiated without delay.
For any press enquiries please contact
Anne Schwöbel, Managing director TI Switzerland
T: 031 382 35 50