Photo of Brazilian football star and now congressman Romario

We won it – again!

 

 

Photo of Ricardo

Teixeira: Nobody loves him in Brazil

 

 

Photo of Senator Alvaro Dias

Alvaro Dias:
His Senate report condemned Teixeira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The things they say...

‘Neither FIFA nor its President have anything to hide, nor do they wish to.’

Blatter press release, 28 January, 2003


BBC Panorama Reporter Andy Davies:

‘A one million franc bribe … is it not correct that Mr Blatter asked that it be moved to the FIFA official who was named on the payment slip?’

FIFA Director of Communications Markus Siegler:

‘If you do not stop now, then we call the security and we put you out.’

FIFA Press conference, Zurich, Tuesday, 11 April 2006


‘I am deputy chairman of the finance committee of FIFA. I oversee a budget of US$2 billion and I have never seen one iota of corruption.’

Jack Warner, Trinidad Express 12 December 2004


‘Lying and deception and bad faith are standard operating procedure at FIFA.’

Adam C. Silverstein, a lawyer for MasterCard in their successful action against FIFA, New York, December 1, 2006


‘I do not believe a Jew can ever be a referee at that level (Argentine Premier League) because it’s hard work and, you know, Jews don’t like hard work.’

FIFA senior vice-president and chair of Finance Committee, Julio Grondona, 5 July 2003. Buenos Aires


‘FIFA is a healthy, clean and transparent organisation with nothing to hide. There is huge public interest in FIFA, therefore we have to be as transparent as possible. We will try to communicate in a more open way so the world can believe us and be proud of their federation.’

FIFA General Secretary Urs Linsi, January 2003, on fifa.com


 

Romario interviews Andrew Jennings

Romario: And the investigations continued?

 

AJ: That case was about how the managers of ISL had misbehaved. The police investigations continued into the bribes and the case was settled out of court in the summer of last year – the announcement was made during the World Cup in South Africa and got little attention. The formal statement from the prosecutor’s office in Zug said, ‘Investigating Magistrate Thomas Hildbrand in August 2008 began an investigation into allegations that certain members of FIFA’s Executive Committee received kickbacks on marketing contracts. After five years of inquiries the accused agreed to repay CHF5.5million and the case was closed.”

 

Romario: What did this mean, put simply?

 

AJ: The three targets of the investigation had to confess they knew about the bribes and that two of them had taken bribes. They repaid some of the money and were guaranteed secrecy. That is the Swiss judicial way of settling some criminal cases.

 

Romario: Is that the end of the story?

 

AJ: Certainly not. Our duty as BBC journalists was to find out who had admitted taking the bribes. We felt that the world had a right to know.

Teixeira and Havelange named

Romario: So what have you done?

 

AJ: As reporters do, we made confidential inquiries in Switzerland and learned a great deal more. So, on May 23 this year I presented a BBC Panorama programme in which I named Ricardo and João Havelange as the two FIFA officials who had admitted talking the bribes. I also named FIFA – and here we can only be talking about Blatter – admitting that money due to FIFA from ISL had been diverted in bribes.

 

Romario: Have you been fair to Ricardo Teixeira?

 

AJ: Of course. The BBC insists that anybody named like this in a programme is given ample time to respond to allegations and hopefully, grant us an interview. For both programmes naming Teixeira – last November and this May – we sent two emails each time informing him of our allegations and inviting him to participate in the programme to put his side of the story.

 

Romario: How did he respond?

 

AJ: He has never replied. He has ignored us and not taken the opportunity to deny anything. Instead he has attacked the BBC and British journalism as ‘corrupt.’ That is no answer to very serious, documented allegations.

 

Romario: What documents do you have to prove that Teixeira – and Havelange – took bribes?

 

AJ: For our programme in November last year I obtained a list of 165 bribes paid by ISL to mostly FIFA officials – the $100 million. We showed it on screen – highlighting the names of Teixeira and Havelange. We also got more evidence showing that Teixeira had taken nearly $10 million through a Liectenstein company named Sanud.

 

Romario: Why was that important?

 

AJ: In the Senator Alvaro Dias 2001 report on corruption at the CBF he named this foreign company Sanud as being the source of money that went to Teixeira. But he couldn’t find out where Sanud got its money. We found it – many times – in the list of bribes paid by the ISL company. So the money was laundered from Switzerland to Liechtenstein and then to Brazil. It remains a disappointment that prosecutors did not take action over the revelations in the Dias report.

 

Continued . . .