FIFA ordered to release ISL papers
FIFA has been ordered by a Swiss court to release documents that could pave the way to finally naming high-ranking officials who allegedly took millions of dollars in kickbacks from World Cup broadcast deals.
Football's world governing body said earlier this month that it had been forced to delay publication of the eagerly awaited documentation relating to the collapse of its former marketing partner ISL in 2001, with debts of $300 million (£188 million/€216 million), because of legal objections from one of the parties involved.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter wanted to make public details of the 10-year-old case as part as part of his plan to clean up the organisation.
Those named in an ISL payments list are alleged to include former FIFA President João Havelange; his ex-son-in-law Ricardo Teixeira, the President of the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) and controversial head of the 2014 World Cup Organising Committee; Nicolas Leoz, boss of CONMEBOL, the South American Confederation; and Confederation of African (CAF) football chief Issa Hayatou.
Teixeira and Hayatou are senior members of FIFA's Executive Committee while Havelange quit the International Olympic Committee (IOC) earlier this month before the result of a probe by the organisation's Ethics Commission into his alleged ISL dealings was known.
Swiss prosecutors initially investigated the case, which was settled after it was reported that two unnamed FIFA officials had paid back 5.5 million Swiss francs (£3.8 million/$5.9 million/€4.5 million) on condition of anonymity.
The relevant papers have since remained behind closed doors but in the latest twist to proceedings, the Supreme Court of the Canton of Zug has asked FIFA to release a court document identifying two officials alleged to have accepted bribes.
The court granted a joint application by the prosecutor's office and the Zurich business publication Handelszeitung, which had apparently appealed several times against publication being blocked.
The document in question is believed to give details of the original settlement.
Dealing with the ISL case has become a major part of Blatter's promised two-year road map to reform in his final four-year term of office following a spate of bribery and corruption scandals over the past 12 months.
As a result, FIFA said in a statement it would not appeal against the Zug court decision, which apparently scraps anonymity protection, "as it corresponds to the position of FIFA and its President, Joseph S Blatter, to open the ISL/ISMM case file".
Edited by RobH, 29 December 2011 - 09:17 AM.