‘Racket’, ‘fraud’, ‘dishonesty’, ‘money laundering’ and ‘corruption’: world football leaders drowned in accusations

FIFA World Cup 2022 award, Gianni Infantino questioned, Blatter Platini case: World football has been the subject of many actions since the crisis erupted at FIFA in 2015.

Bribery and TV rights

FIFA’s unexpected financial gains, television broadcasting rights are also the main source of litigation.

Thus “Fifagate”, which began with the startling arrest on May 27, 2015 of seven world football leaders in Zurich, is concerned above all with the “beating” carried out by South American officials in exchange for television rights in continental competitions.

The case was investigated in the United States, and the case has already resulted in the sentencing of Paraguayan Juan Angel Napout to nine years in prison and Brazilian Jose Maria Marin to four years in prison. Jeffrey Webb, another leader from the Cayman Islands, pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $6.7 million.

As for the World Cup television rights, which report directly to FIFA, Qatar accused Nasser Al-Khelaifi, president of beIN Media and Paris SG, and France’s Jerome Valcke, former FIFA Secretary-General, of concluding a charter deal behind FIFA’s back, falling under “unfair administration”. , in an issue relating to the worlds 2026 and 2030.

A Swiss court acquitted Nasser Al-Khulaifi in October 2020, while Valcke was given a reduced sentence in another case unrelated to the Qatari leader. But the prosecution appealed and requested 28 months’ imprisonment against Nasser Al-Khelaifi and 35 months against Jerome Valcke during the trial held in early March in Switzerland.

platinum platter

The downfall of the two former leaders, who were banished from the world of football at the end of 2015, hides a double quarrel: first, the main case targeting the payment of two million Swiss francs (1.8 million euros) from FIFA to Michel Platini in 2011, has been verified by Then-President Sepp Blatter without a written contract.

The trial of Platini (66) and Blatter (85), accused of “fraud”, “unfair administration”, “breach of trust” and “false titles”, begins on Wednesday. For their part, the two men insisted that this is a salary scale for working as a consultant going back to 1999-2002.

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Simple fraud is punishable by five years in prison (or a fine) under Swiss law.

Former UEFA president from 2007 to 2015, Michel Platini sees in this case a “conspiracy” aimed at removing him from the FIFA presidency and which seemed available to him in favor of Gianni Infantino.

At the end of 2018, he counterattacked by launching another action, a complaint with “conviction of slander” and “formation of a criminal gang”. In November 2021, the Ballon d’Or filed a complaint in Paris against Infantino for “abuse of active influence” and against Marco Villiger, the former legal director of FIFA, for “complicity in the abuse of active influence”.

This complaint is being addressed, in particular because international examinations must be carried out, according to the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office, at the request of AFP.

Infantino and the Earth

Elected in 2016 with a promiseFIFA Image RecoveryInfantino has been targeted since July 2020 by the criminal proceedings ofIncitement to abuse of power“, in “Breach of official secrecyand for Obstruction of criminal proceedings“.

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The Swiss justice accuses him of holding three secret meetings in 2016 and 2017 with Michael Lauber, the then chief prosecutor of the Federation, raising suspicions of collusion between the prosecution and FIFA, the civil party in most of the proceedings.

For his part, the Italian-Swiss (51) confirmed that the matter was related to the prosecution’s showing that “the new FIFA was a thousand leagues from the old.”

Investigations resumed on December 15, after seven months of paralysis after the resignation in May 2021 of Swiss prosecutor Stefan Keller, who had been investigating the case and also discovered “evidence” of “unfair management” of a private jet flight. Infantino in 2017, paid for by FIFA.

Two exceptional prosecutors, Hans Maurer and Ulrich Weider, are now responsible for continuing the investigation.

Doubts about the World Cup in Qatar

Fifa’s most embarrassing investigation, through the shadow it casts on the Queen’s competition, aims to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup organiser.

Suspicions of vote buying during the vote on December 2, 2010, which were documented through an internal FIFA investigation, justified filing a complaint at the end of 2014 to the Swiss judicial system, which has been investigating since May 2015 over “money laundering and unfair administration”.

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At the same time, French justice is investigating “active and passive corruption” at a lunch held on November 23, 2010 between Nicolas Sarkozy, then-President of the Republic, two senior Qatari leaders and Michel Platini, then-president of UEFA.

On this subject, French investigators heard Sepp Blatter as a “witness” in November 2021.

If Qatar is the center of attention, the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa are tainted by suspicions of corruption.

Finally, Switzerland had to close a trial in April 2020 over awarding the 2006 World Cup to Germany, due to the prescription.

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