Belfast Telegraph

Fifa comes clean on TV rights probe

FIFA's clean-up drive could see three senior football officials named as having received kickbacks from a company that sold World Cup TV rights.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter yesterday announced that the infamous ISL court dossier will be opened and handed to an independent body to study to see if any officials should face action.

For the last two years FIFA have helped block the publication of the court documents but Blatter told a press conference in Zurich that the dossier would be handed over.

Blatter also announced a programme of reforms to be carried out over two years, including the vetting of committee members, changing statutes and strengthening the ethics committee, a watchdog body.

The details of the court case in Zug will have the most immediate impact on the world governing body. He laid out a two-year timetable for implementing the reforms. The court case in the Swiss canton of Zug involved FIFA's now defunct marketing company ISL which was settled in 2009 after three parties, including FIFA, paid compensation of £2.9million on the understanding that the names would remain secret.

After advice from the pressure group Transparency International, Blatter has now decided to open it up to scrutiny. He said: “The executive committee has at my request agreed that in the meeting of December 16/17 we will reopen this file.

“If there are any measures to be taken they will not be taken by the executive committee — it is not the body that can take sanctions or release anyone — so we will give this file to an independent organisation outside of FIFA so they can delve into this file and extract its conclusions.”

BBC Panorama reported in May that the court file shows Brazil's FIFA member Ricardo Teixeira and former FIFA president Joao Havelange received payments. Paraguay's FIFA member Nicolas Leoz was named in the court in 2008 as having received 130,000 US dollars (£81,500).

Blatter also announced that members of FIFA's executive committee would be “screened”.

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