FIFA executive committee probed over World Cup watches

Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:47am EDT
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BERNE, (Reuters) - Soccer's governing body FIFA is investigating whether any ethics rules were broken when members of its executive committee received commemorative watches from sponsors of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) at the World Cup.

"The CBF distributed commemorative watches at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil from their own sponsor (as part of the association's centennial celebrations) to various people, including the members of the FIFA executive committee," said soccer’s governing body in a statement.

"The ethics committee was informed about this accordingly in June 2014 and is dealing with the matter."

FIFA said the chairmen of its ethics committee, Michael Garcia, and audit and compliance committee, Domenico Scala, had previously barred the executive committee members, as well as president Sepp Blatter, from receiving watches provided by Hublot, its own official timekeeper.

"The two chairmen determined in June 2014 that this would not be permitted under the organization's compliance rules and as such it was decided not to distribute any of the watches to any members," said FIFA.

"The fact is that FIFA has not distributed any watches to any of the members of its executive committee nor its president neither to its secretary general."

(Reporting by Brian Homewood. Editing by Patrick Johnston)

FIFA President Sepp Blatter gestures next to the World Cup trophy after a media conference in Sao Paulo June 5, 2014.   REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker