Racketeers and corruptionists: what is known about the investigation into FIFA

On Wednesday, the international federation of football FIFA was rocked by an unprecedented corruption scandal. Russia as the host of World Cup 2018 is indirectly involved, but the likelihood that it will lose the right to host the tournament, is small.
28.05.2015
RBC
Origin source
Racketeers and corrupt

The US Justice Department announced on Wednesday morning that the US prosecutors filed charges of corruption and money laundering, the nine former and current officials of FIFA. Another five defendants - executives (mostly South American), which provides marketing services to FIFA and to broadcast sporting events. According to the US request in Zurich, where FIFA Congress will be held this week, he was arrested seven officials, including acting vice-president of Jeffrey Webb and Eugenio Figueredo. All of them can be extradited to the United States in accordance with the bilateral agreements between the US and Switzerland.

According to US prosecutors, the FIFA leadership for 24 years engaged in illicit enrichment through corruption schemes in international football. In total sports officials received more than $ 150 million in bribes and kickbacks. The indictment against FIFA officials consists of 47 points, which occupy more than 160 pages. Mainly charges relate to regional impersonateFIFA divisions - in the CONCACAF Confederation of North and Central America and the South American confederation CONMEBOL.

According to the indictment, the confederations guidance received bribes and kickbacks in the sale of rights for media and marketing support football activities (mainly in the countries tournaments CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, and FIFA qualifying tournaments in these regions). Marketing and translational contracts bring FIFA's main revenue US Justice Department said. They accounted for about 70% of the $ 5.7 billion that earned the organization from 2011 to 2014.

The investigation of the US authorities does not apply to the 2018 World Cup, to be held in Russia. But in the published indictment describes in detail the bribery scheme vote in choosing the venue for the 2010 World Cup (held in South Africa). Direct participation in it took the former FIFA vice-president, football functionary and politician from Trinidad and Tobago Jack Warner (from 2010 to 2013 he even served as minister of national security of this country). In 2011, FIFA Warner left amid accusations that he was involved in vote buying in the run-up to presidential elections in organiction in 2011.

How does FIFA corruption scheme

In the early 2000s, Warner instructed his relative businessmen meet Paris with a senior member of the bid of South Africa Committee and get his briefcase full of money, where the US dollar in packs of $ 10 thousand. In 2004, shortly before the vote, Warner traveled to Morocco (also applied to host the 2010 World Cup), where a member of the bid committee of the kingdom offered him $ 1 million per vote in support of the country's application.

Then Warner, from the words of one of his two accomplices, arranged for receiving from South Africa $ 10 million in exchange for three votes in favor of the South African proposal. Terms have been agreed with senior officials of FIFA, as well as members of the government of South Africa and the bid committee. The country won the right to host the championship, but was never able to set aside $ 10 million from public funds, and then associates decided that distribute among themselves the necessary amount of funds from FIFA, which in any case should have been sent to South Africa as the owner of the championship. In 2008, FIFA has transferred $ 10 million to the correspondent account in New York, etc.To be credited to the account at the National Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, the open Caribbean Football Union and CONCACAF Jack Warner and controlled.

As the New York Times notes, the US Justice Department built a case against FIFA on the basis of indications and information provided by the former head of CONCACAF Charles Blazer. 70-year-old blazer, which is now terminally ill, began to cooperate with the authorities in 2011. In addition to the testimony he secretly recorded audio device his meeting with the FIFA colleagues, including members of the Bid Committee. As suggested by the publication New York Daily News, among those invited to his Blazer in London at such meetings, there were members of the Russian Committee - Vitaly Mutko, Alexei Sorokin (Head of the Russian bid committee), but it is unknown whether or not they accept the invitation. In 2013 Blazer pleaded guilty to extortion and money laundering, fraud, tax evasion and pledged to pay a fine of $ 1.9 million.

What threatens Russia

Suspicions that Russia received the 2018 fair, sounded in the Western press (especially Britini- tially) on a regular basis since the end of 2010, when Russia won the right to host the FIFA World Cup at the FIFA vote. But no specific, credible evidence presented was not (see. Incision).

The only official document that can contain information about possible illegal actions of Russian officials and football functionaries - a "report of Garcia" (430-page report, prepared by former US Attorney Michael Garcia on the results of its investigation with respect to honesty Russian choice and Qatar, the host country FIFA World Cup 2018 and World Cup 2022). But he was not made public. FIFA published only in November 2014 a 42-page summary of the report, which indicated that the irregularities in the elections in Russia the 2018 World Cup mistress were immaterial. The organization said that the matter is closed completely, the revision of the voting results is impossible.

What the Western media accused Russia

Report of the Sunday Times

In November 2014, the British newspaper Sunday Times published and submitted to the British Parliament a report on corruption in the struggle for rightsabout holding the 2018 World Cup. The report was based on data supposedly gathered by a British intelligence for the English bid committee. The newspaper wrote that Vladimir Putin, who served in 2010 as prime minister, personally gave Russian businessmen and politicians instructed "to do everything necessary to ensure the victory of Russia." However, the publication provides that prove the "evil" play the part of Russia is impossible, because "Putin - a former intelligence officer," and is able to act without leaving traces.

Sunday Times wrote that a former member of the FIFA Executive Committee Vyacheslav Koloskov gave two officials of the Selection Committee - Belgian Michel D'Hugu and UEFA President Michel Platini - paintings, the latter allegedly went to the work of Picasso. Also, according to the Sunday Times, Qatar and Russia have entered into a conspiracy to exchange votes. To this end, Russia reportedly agreed to give Arab state access to gas fields in the Yamal Peninsula. British intelligence believes that by 2018 applies some oil deal.

ARD film

ATbeginning of May 2015 the German public TV station ARD showed the film "Sold football", which investigated the circumstances of the vote on the choice of venue for the 2018 World Cup and the 2022 World Cup. In particular, journalists are held parallels between the victory of Russia's bid to the FIFA World Cup in 2018 and the fact that "Gazprom" has become the official partner of FIFA in September of 2013. The Russian company has also offered one of the members of the executive committee who participated in the vote - the renowned German footballer Franz Beckenbauer - to become a sports ambassador "Gazprom".

In addition, the ARD indicates that "Gazpromneft-Aero" signed a contract with Cypriot oil company Petrolina, owned by a member of the FIFA Executive Committee Marios Lefkaritis. After signing with the Russians Petrolina revenue grew by a third, from which German journalists conclude that thus Russian companies "rewarded" by FIFA members for the "right" vote.

Garcia in December 2014 with the scandal left the FIFA Ethics Committee, claiming that the published summary interprets the results of the racesresearch is wrong. He stressed that the original report contains "identified serious problems with applications nomination procedures [for the World Championships] and select the winners." FIFA has promised that the report would be published by Garcia, but the exact timing is not called. And it will be published in the "legally acceptable version", that is, with cuts in order to preserve confidentiality of witnesses.

Michael Garcia, who now works for the US law firm Kirkland & Ellis, was unavailable for comment on RBC request.

What was said about Russia to resume "Garcia report"

FIFA Ethics Committee found no reason to deny Russia the right to host the 2018 World Cup, said in the November summary "report to Garcia." At the same time, the document contained several suspicious points.

Firstly, the Bid Committee "Russia-2018" during the investigation could only provide a limited number of documents - it was because the computers that were used in preparing the bid to host the 2018 World Cup, were rented and then returned legallyThe owners, who destroyed them.

Secondly, in conversations with representatives of the Japanese bid committee (Japan claimed the World Cup 2022) evidence surfaced of collusion between Russia and Japan, the Committee of the vote for each other. However, the FIFA Ethics Committee found no evidence to support the fact of the exchange votes.

Finally, Russia has failed to fully comply with the requirements for the disclosure of the facts of meetings with members of the executive committee of FIFA during the competition for the right to host the World Cup. According to the rules, the bid committee are obliged to warn in advance of the relevant contacts, and Russia did it only three times. On the other communications from the executive committee of FIFA members Russia notified after the fact, and some of these meetings and not reported.

Now the country's choice of Russia - the mistress of the FIFA World Cup has been the subject of criminal proceedings in Switzerland. "In Switzerland, the criminal investigation opened by the Prosecutor General of 10 March 2015, considered the suspicion that the allocation of venues for the World Championships 2018 and 2022 there were violations," - said in aThe message of the Swiss prosecutor's office. The case was filed in March, but as says the prosecutor's office made public only now in order to coordinate with the US authorities because the raids in the FIFA headquarters and the arrests of functionaries was convenient to carry in the run-up to the FIFA Congress in Zurich, brought together all in one place.

Suspected violations whether Russian officials or members of the bid committee, is still unknown. The prosecutor's office of Switzerland refused additional comment. US Attorney General Loretta Lynch during a press conference in Washington on Wednesday said that the United States has nothing to do with self-Swiss investigation and do not want to obstruct the conduct of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the World Cup 2020 in Qatar, but we are ready to cooperate with the Swiss investigators with any questions .

In the case of the 2010 FIFA vote, on the choice of venues for the tournaments in 2018 and 2022 the Swiss authorities interrogated 10 functionaries who took part in the vote. They will be questioned as a "source of information" for the investigation and not suspects, said the Swiss prosecutor's office. Office did not discloseof their names, but the British newspaper The Guardian reported that among them there is the Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko. He himself denied the call for questioning. "Let them [the English media] write. But I did not call anybody anywhere. If and will cause, not only me, but all the members of the executive committee [FIFA]. While I have no such information ", - the minister RIA Novosti said, stressing that" we have nothing to hide. "

"The grounds for cancellation of the 2018 World Cup in Russia there is no"

"While the reasons for the cancellation of the two countries selection results for 2018 and 2022 do not. If the Swiss Prosecutor's Office will have additional questions, I as a member of the FIFA Executive Committee is ready to give any explanation. We have won absolutely honest, "- said Mutko RBC Wednesday afternoon.

A source in the Russian government does not bind the initiation of proceedings to political pressure on Russia. In his opinion, it is a permanent campaign against FIFA president Joseph Blatter, who planned to be re-elected on the fifth term at the Congress on May 29 "This infighting", -. Sure interlocutor RBC.

FIFA on Wednesday repeatedThat the corruption scandal does not threaten the holding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. FIFA Communications Director Walter De Gregorio, in response to another question about the 2018 World Cup at a press conference in Zurich, said irritably: "You start to speculate on the possible re-election of countries - mistresses of the 2018 World Cup and the 2022 World Cup. Championships will be held in Russia and Qatar. Today, it is a fact. "

2018 World Cup Organising Committee in Russia on Wednesday evening reiterated that "Russia's bid campaign was conducted in full accordance with ethical standards and FIFA rules," and said he was ready to provide "maximum assistance" in the Swiss investigation.

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, declined to comment. The representative of the First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, supervising preparations for the 2018 World Cup, also declined to comment.