September 20, 2015 / 8:34 AM / 2 years ago

KPMG reviews Swiss unit's auditing of FIFA

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

ZURICH (Reuters) - Auditing firm KPMG has launched an internal review of its Swiss business over audits of world soccer body FIFA’s financial record keeping, a spokesman said on Sunday.

KPMG Switzerland’s audits for FIFA were being scrutinized “in consultation” with parent company, KPMG International, said spokesman Andreas Hammer.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Swiss Attorney General’s Office are investigating alleged corruption within FIFA, with headquarters in Zurich, after the indictment of 14 senior soccer officials and sports marketing executives in May.

Last week, FIFA put Jerome Valcke, its second-ranking official, on leave after an ex-footballer raised allegations he was involved in a plan to resell 2014 World Cup tickets for a lucrative profit.

Since 1999, KPMG Switzerland has been responsible for auditing FIFA’s financial reports. Should it discover irregularities during such a review, an auditor is bound by law to report them.

Hammer said U.S. Department of Justice charges were primarily focused on activities unrelated to any work that KPMG may have done in its role as FIFA’s auditor in Switzerland.

For instance, he said, any payments made to individual voting delegates by parties seeking to influence the selection of the World Cup hosting country are not part of FIFA’s financial statements or statutory audit.

“While the allegations predominantly concern activities which do not directly impact the FIFA financial statements, a review of the audit work performed by KPMG Switzerland is being conducted in consultation with KPMG International,” Hammer said via email on Sunday.

KPMG Switzerland said national soccer associations and regional confederations around the world do not form part of the financial statements of FIFA and are accordingly not audited by KPMG Switzerland.

National associations and regional confederations select their auditor locally, KPMG said.

According to FIFA’s 2014 annual report, however, the organization said it arranges a central audit of 40 member associations and one confederation each year through KPMG “to verify that all financial assistance payments are in compliance.”

Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Mark Potter and Elaine Hardcastle

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