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FIFA Admits To Corruption, Casts Itself As A Victim

NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — Even as they acknowledge that corruption influenced the choosing of World Cup hosts, FIFA is now seeking a share of tens of millions in alleged bribe money seized by US law enforcement officials.

On Tuesday, FIFA submitted a 22-page claim to the U.S. Attorney's Office in New York, seeking a substantial share in restitution from $190 million already forfeited by soccer and marketing officials who have already plead guilty for the involvement in alleged kickback and corruption schemes, the New York Times reported.

In the filing, FIFA claims that it was victimized by corrupt officials and that the alleged kickback schemes and bribes, suggesting that such corruption was not endemic in the organization under the presidencies of Joao Havelange and his predecessor Sepp Blatter, who was forced from office after 17 years by the current scandal.

In documents obtained by The Associated Press, FIFA asks for:

  • $28.2 million for years of payments, including bonuses, flights and daily expenses, to soccer officials who have now been identified as corrupt.
  • $10 million for the "theft" of money that FIFA officials paid as bribes to then-executive committee members to vote for South Africa as 2010 World Cup host
  • "substantial" cost of legal bills since separate U.S. and Swiss federal probes of corruption in international soccer were revealed last May
  • damages for harm to its reputation, plus other bribes and kickbacks for media rights to non-FIFA competitions but "which were made possible because of the value of the FIFA brand"
  • A decision in FIFA's request is not expected until after the defendants in the case have been sentenced, which is possibly years away, the New York Times said. As well, the government may accede to FIFA's request but impose stipulations on the money.

    “The court would have the power to order exactly where the money was going to go,” Sarah P. Kelly, a lawyer with Nutter McClennen & Fish told The Times. “You could see the money earmarked for youth soccer or another worthy cause.” – Staff Writers