Fifa vows to recoup millions of dollars of corruption money

Nelson Mandela with the Jules Rimet Trophy after South Africa was awarded the World Cup in 2010. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
Nelson Mandela with the Jules Rimet Trophy after South Africa was awarded the World Cup in 2010. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
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Fifa will attempt to recoup millions of dollars taken in the corruption scandal which rocked the world of football.

Documents submitted to the US authorities have disclosed that football’s world governing body plans to recover money diverted from the sport illegally through bribery, kickbacks and corrupt schemes carried out by former Fifa members and other officials.

Those same papers reveal the extent of corruption which took place at the top of world football and outline that bribes were paid for votes in bids for the 1998 and 2010 World Cups.

CONCACAF president Jack Warner, a former Fifa vice-president, and Chuck Blazer, who was general secretary of the confederation representing North, Central America and Caribbean football, are said to have received a $10 million bribe from South Africa for World Cup votes in 2010.

An American investigation exposed widespread corruption in world football and Fifa says in its Request for Restitution to the US attorney’s office and the US probation office for the Eastern District of New York that it is a “victimised institution”.

Mr Warner, Mr Blazer and Jeffrey Webb, who became president of CONCACAF in 2012, are among 41 defendants indicted in the ongoing investigation by the US Department of Justice that Fifa plans to seek damages from.

“The convicted defendants abused the positions of trust they held at Fifa and other international football organisations and caused serious and lasting damage to Fifa, its member associations and the football community,” new Fifa president Gianni Infantino said.

“The monies they pocketed belonged to global football and were meant for the development and promotion of the game. Fifa, as the world governing body of football, wants that money back and we are determined to get it no matter how long it takes.

“The defendants diverted this money not just from Fifa but from players, coaches and fans worldwide who benefit from the programmes that Fifa runs to develop and promote football.

“These dollars were meant to build football fields, not mansions and pools; to buy football kits, not jewellery and cars; and to fund youth player and coach development, not to underwrite lavish lifestyles.”

Fifa accepts the millions of dollars lost during the corruption scandal is likely to increase as the investigation continues.

The US government has already announced forfeiture amounts that should cover Fifa’s claims for damages.