FIFA confirms two received kickbacks

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FIFA confirms two received kickbacks

GENEVA - Former FIFA president Joao Havelange and one-time Brazilian soccer leader Ricardo Teixeira received millions of dollars in a World Cup kickbacks scandal, soccer’s world governing body confirmed on Wednesday.

FIFA finally published a Swiss court dossier which detailed that Teixeira received $13 million from 1992-97 in payments from World Cup marketing partner ISL. The Swiss-based agency’s bankruptcy in 2001 sparked a criminal probe and exposed the practice of buying influence from top sports officials.

The 41-page document showed Havelange received a payment of about $1 million in 1997, a year before he was succeeded as FIFA president by Sepp Blatter.

Payments “attributed” to accounts connected to the two Brazilians totaled almost $22 million from 1992-2000.

The scale of kickbacks tied to World Cup broadcasting and marketing deals was revealed in a report by a prosecutor in the Swiss state of Zug who investigated Havelange and Teixeira for “embezzlement, or alternatively disloyal management.”

The document had been blocked from publication since June 2010, soon after prosecutors, FIFA and the two men reached a settlement deal to close the criminal investigation.

FIFA, Havelange and Teixeira repaid $6.1 million to end prosecutor Thomas Hildbrand’s probe on condition that their identities remain secret. AP

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