Wednesday 16 March 2016 11:36 am
Fifa requests over $38m seized from corrupt officials by US authorities is given back to organisation
Fifa has for the first time admitted that bribery was involved in the 1998 and 2010 World Cup votes in legal documents to US authorities requesting "tens of millions of dollars" seized from corrupt officials. Football's governing body has submitted a request to the US Attorney's Office for $28.2m (£19.9m) from payments, bonuses, expenses and flight costs paid to officials it says are corrupt, $10m used by then-Fifa officials in bribes for World Cup votes and damages for harm done to its reputation.
Fifa, whose recently-elected president Gianni Infantino has vowed to root out corruption, says it has become a "victimised institution" by the actions of 41 former Fifa officials who used organisation funds to either enrich themselves or use for bribery and kickbacks.
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In the legal documents, Fifa makes explicit reference to $10m of Fifa money used by the South African bid committee to buy World Cup votes from Caribbean officials Jeffrey Webb and Jack Warner – a first for the embattled organisation.
"The convicted defendants abused the positions of trust they held at Fifa and other international football organisations and caused serious and lasting damage to Fifa, its member associations and the football community," said Infantino.
"The defendants diverted this money not just from Fifa but from players, coaches and fans worldwide who benefit from the programmes that Fifa runs to develop and promote football.
"These dollars were meant to build football fields, not mansions and pools; to buy football kits, not jewellery and cars; and to fund youth player and coach development, not to underwrite lavish lifestyles for football and sports marketing executives."