Europe

Fifa indictment: What's in it

  • 28 May 2015
  • From the section Europe
man jokes about FIFA outside the hotel Baur au Lac Zurich on 27 May 2015 in Zurich, Switzerland
Image caption Some have been making light of the case, like this Swiss man

One US prosecutor described the bribery allegations surrounding senior executives of football's governing body Fifa as "the World Cup of fraud".

Here are some of the key revelations from the US indictment against them.


The charges

They are more reminiscent of a mob film rather than the beautiful game: wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy, money laundering and obstruction of justice charges.

If convicted the defendants could face 20 years in prison.

South Africa 2010 World Cup

The indictment alleges that Jack Warner, who was president of the federation that represents Central, North American and Caribbean football, Concacaf, accepted a $10m bribe from the South African government and Fifa officials to provide votes for the 2010 World Cup bid.

The Copa America

South America's regional football competition appears to have been the real money cow, with the US Department of Justice alleging that over a third of media rights were lost in bribes.

Image caption This chart from the indictment shows the bribes taken per tournament

2011 Fifa presidential election

Jack Warner allegedly tried to buy votes for the 2011 Fifa presidential election for a member of the Asian Football Federation. The report says that he invited voting members to a hotel room:

"Inside the room, Caribbean Football Union staff handed each official an envelope bearing the name of the member association that he represented. Inside each envelope was $40,000 in United States currency."

Bribes weren't just financial

One alleged conspirator was reportedly bought an "expensive painting from an art gallery in New York" by one of the defendants, Costas Takkas.

Other tournaments involved

Image caption The US displayed diagrams showing how the alleged schemes worked

Pretty much any international tournament that was played in Latin America, the Caribbean and North America is said to have been affected. The Gold Cup, which features the United States and Mexico amongst others, is also named, along with Fifa World Cup qualifying matches.

But Sepp Blatter was not

In 164 pages, the Fifa president's name is not mentioned once.

'Major' US sportswear firm implicated

The indictment includes allegations of bribery involving the sponsorship of the Brazilian national football team and a "multinational sportswear company headquartered in the United States".

The company is not named, but there is widespread speculation it is Nike, who signed a deal with the Brazilian team in 1996 - the same year mentioned in the indictment.

Nike has not confirmed it was involved, but said it opposed bribery and was co-operating with the authorities.

Warner's family connection

One of the highest-profile indictments is former Concacaf president Jack Warner.

Image caption Former Concacaf president Jack Warner is one of the high-profile figures named

Mr Warner, who allegedly built a condominium in Florida for a family member using Concacaf funds, was one of the most powerful men in football until he resigned amidst a fraud inquiry.

Two of his sons, Daryll and Daryan, pleaded guilty two years ago under indictments that have not been released until now.

It has been speculated that the justice department has used informants as part of its case, with the Reuters news agency reporting in 2013 that Daryll had become a co-operative witness.