Exclusive: FIFA launches internal probe of alleged corruption - sources

Fri Aug 7, 2015 4:55pm EDT
 
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By David Ingram and Simon Evans

(Reuters) - Soccer's world governing body FIFA has launched an internal investigation of alleged corruption, two people familiar with the matter said, in a development that may signal greater cooperation with criminal probes by U.S. and Swiss authorities.

Members of FIFA's executive committee were briefed on the internal investigation at a closed-door meeting in Zurich last month, said the sources, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, a U.S. law firm, is conducting the investigation, which is running parallel to the probes by authorities in the United States and Switzerland, the sources said. The results of the investigation are expected to be shared with the authorities, they added.

FIFA was thrown into turmoil in May when U.S. prosecutors announced the indictment of nine current and former soccer officials, many of whom had FIFA positions, and five sports marketing executives. Prosecutors said the 14 corrupted the sport by agreeing to more than $150 million in bribes and kickbacks for media and marketing rights.

TRIED AND TESTED

It was previously known only that FIFA had hired Quinn Emanuel to represent its interests during the U.S. and Swiss investigations. Reuters was not able to determine what stage the internal investigation had reached or how long it would take.

FIFA is cooperating with authorities and will not comment on ongoing investigations, said a spokeswoman for the Zurich-based organization.   Continued...

 
The logo of FIFA is seen in front of its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland July 20, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann