FIFA Acknowledges 2010 World Cup Bribes in Claim Filed to US Attorney's Office

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2016

FILE - This is a Friday, Feb. 26, 2016  file photo of  the newly elected FIFA president Gianni Infantino of Switzerland as he raises an arm during a press conference after the second election round during the extraordinary FIFA congress in Zurich, Switzerland.  While acknowledging for the first time that votes were bought in past World Cup hosting contests, FIFA is seeking to claim
Associated Press

For the first time, FIFA acknowledged on Wednesday that bribes were paid in order to influence votes for the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa.

According to Graham Dunbar of the Associated Press (h/t, FIFA filed a 22-page claim to the U.S. Attorney's Office in search of "tens of millions of dollars" in restitution for bribe money seized by federal prosecutors.

Per Dunbar's report, $190 million has been forfeited by officials who admitted guilt in relation to corruption charges, and FIFA is looking to recoup a portion of that money.

New FIFA President Gianni Infantino released a statement on the matter:

The convicted defendants abused the positions of trust they held at FIFA and other international football organizations and caused serious and lasting damage to FIFA. The monies they pocketed belonged to global football and were meant for the development and promotion of the game. FIFA as the world governing body of football wants that money back and we are determined to get it no matter how long it takes.

In one of its requests, FIFA asks for $10 million with regard to bribes that were paid in order to influence voters to choose South Africa as the 2010 World Cup host.

According to Dunbar, FIFA's claim singled out former FIFA Vice President Jack Warner as the one responsible for orchestrating the $10 million payment through a FIFA account.

Rob Stone of Fox Sports weighed in on the potential of other bribes regarding the World Cup:

Nine FIFA officials have been indicted on corruption charges, including Warner, who faces potential extradition to the United States.

FIFA's move comes just a few weeks after Infantino was elected, thanks in part to a platform focused on the organization's finances.

No official hearings have been scheduled as of yet, and it remains unclear precisely how much money FIFA is seeking in restitution.


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